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Pathol an inflammation of the fingers, toes, or ears, caused by prolonged exposure to moisture and cold



a special form of frostbite in which the skin is injured by prolonged and repeated exposure to cold and dampness. Chilblain usually affects the nose, cheeks, hands, and ears; less commonly, it affects the feet, legs, and buttocks. It is characterized by limited or diffuse, reddish cyanotic patches that are swollen, hardened, cold to the touch, and painful when pressed. Chilblain is usually accompanied by an itching, burning sensation; pain arises if the affected area is warmed rapidly.

Acute forms of chilblain are distinguished from chronic forms, which are recurrent. The victim’s physiology and age influence the development of chilblain. The time of year is also a factor. Most cases occur in the spring and fall, usually affecting weakened persons, children, adolescents, and the elderly. Anemia, a poor diet, and vitamin deficiency, as well as nervous disorders, chronic infections, and poisonings, are conducive to the development of chilblain.

Treatment includes warm baths, massage, and rubbing with camphor spirit, as well as the application of iodine tinctures and the use of ultraviolet radiation. Fissures and ulcerations are treated with ointment dressings and by soaking in a potassium permanganate solution. Chilblain can be prevented by protecting exposed parts of the body against cold and dampness and by observing a healthy diet. Vitamins and preparations containing calcium, iron, and arsenic are also helpful.


References in periodicals archive ?
If this happens too quickly, fluid can leak into surrounding tissue and cause chilblains.
No heat or water and I think the answer to my burning/itchy ears is either chilblains or frostbite.
Common chilly-ills are painful chilblains, chapped lips and sore ears.
It's not the cold weather, long, dark nights or chilblains I dread, it's the awful events the winter months bring.
Ian, married with two children, freezes his own ice using specialist machinery from the USA and, of course, always wears gloves - "so no, I don't get chilblains.
All the teachers would have got there before us, even those from Scunthorpe, and if there was a power cut we'd burn desks in the middle of the classroom, roast our chestnuts and compare chilblains.
Much of their time is spent treating common ailments such as corns, bunions, fungal infections and chilblains.
AI THINK you have chilblains, caused by the skin having an abnormal reaction to the cold.
Chilblains can affect any part of the body and are caused by excessive cold.
It would be so much nicer to work in a lovely warm office than to spend all day standing by a garden pond getting chilblains.
Better still, fit a carpet on top and you can say goodbye to chilblains forever.
The only thing I did suffer from was chilblains - most kids had them.