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What is the cause of chilblains?

Chilblains are problems which come about on the feet which are more usual in the wintry climates. Understanding the cause of any problem goes some distance to help being aware of what is going on with them, how to prevent chilblains and the ways to take care of chilblains. This is certainly true of chilblains. While they just occurs in wintry environments, they may not be actually a result of the cold. Many people who do not get them get cold as well and they do not have chilblains. Likewise, some people get chilblains with even little alterations in temperatures and it not too cold. This means that there is a lot more occurring than simply the cold that usually will get blamed for triggering chilblains.

In the skin there are a lot of small arteries (the microcirculation) that help control temperature within the body. Once we become chilly, those arteries tighten to conserve heat deeper in your body. If we are warm, these blood vessels open and convey the blood nearer to the surface in order that we will dissipate heat for cooling the body. It is deemed an important normal functionality. With a chilblain the blood vessels constrict just like they normally should, however when the foot is warmed, the capillaries remain constricted when they shouldn't be. Because of this harmful toxins start to build up in the skin and there is no blood supply to eliminate them. This leads to an inflamation related response along with the release of chemical compounds making the chilblain painful and itchy. At some point the blood vessels do open up and the sudden rush of blood to the chilblains leads to additional itchiness along with pain. The initial look is a dark bluish patch, but this may be a reddish colored look after that rush of blood. If this type of malfunction is recurring every day, then chilblains could become a significant chronic patch.

Just the reason why in some individuals they continue to be constricted for a longer time in wintry climates in unknown. They are more prevalent in women, indicating that there may be some sort of hormone affect on the process. However, males do can also get them, so if it is hormone linked, then that is not the sole issue. Surprisingly for something which is really prevalent, there is comparatively little research been done to try and look into chilblains in greater depth.

Applying this understanding of the cause can help people avoid and treat chilblains. Clearly the first thing to do is not allow the feet get cool and keep them warm. If they do become cold, then it is essential that they are warmed up really slowly and gradually in order for the microcirculation to get a chance to react to the increased demand in the tissues and the arteries can easily open up to fulfill that requirement. This means that the waste materials will not accumulate and the inflammatory reaction process is not started. After that process has started, then the treatment process has to move to minimize that inflammation process and help remove those waste material that have accumulated in the skin.