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Pathol an inflammation of the fingers, toes, or ears, caused by prolonged exposure to moisture and cold
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pernio, also known as chilblains, is an inflammatory condition of the skin triggered by cold exposure.
"Imagine recalling the words to that charabanc favourite and scratching a chilblain at the same time.
It turns out that Bulwark-Stratton is a pen name for a lady author (Philipa Veil) whose father thought it improper for a female to write fiction--but who is now enabled to live in a small room in Chilblain Hall, and share a cup of tea with Glister now and then whilst enjoying the success of the novel she and Glister have created.
This condition is called chilblain (chil-BLANNE), and can affect the fingers, toes, ears, or other uncovered skin.
The differential diagnosis of pernio includes other cold-induced syndromes such as Raynaud's syndrome, cold panniculitis, cold urticaria, livedo reticularis, acrocyanosis, and chilblain lupus.
"Gently massage in a moisturising cream to encourage blood circulation into colder areas." Chilblain Cream, PS4.99, Boots.
Localised vasculitis where there is inflammation round a small blood vessel may be mistaken for a developing chilblain.
"The GP initially thought it was athlete's foot and couldn't confirm frostbite, so we took him to hospital and staff there confirmed it was chilblains, which is a form of frostbite.