Are you suffering from these itchy, swollen patches? Read this post about how naturopathy in Ballarat treats and manages chilblains.

When your skin is exposed to cold temperatures, it can form small, itchy, swollen patches. The most likely places for these to form are on your extremities. That is your toes, nose, ears, heels, toes, and fingers.

These itchy patches are often uncomfortable but rarely cause permanent damage. If you avoid further exposure to the cold, they typically heal within a few weeks.

Chilblains typically develop after exposure to the cold for several hours. When they develop, you can feel a burning or itching sensation in the affected areas. This sensation becomes more intense when you go into a warmer area.

The skin of the affected area may also change colour, becoming red or dark blue. For severe cases, the surface of the skin may not remain intact. If this happens, you might have sores or blisters on top of the itchy patch of skin.

Cause of Chilblains

The cause of chilblains is an abnormal reaction from your body to the cold.

If your skin is cold, the blood vessels near the surface narrow. Narrowed blood vessels exposed to heat get wider. When this happens rapidly, the blood vessels near the skin may not be able to handle the sudden increased blood flow.

This, in turn, leads to blood leaking out into the surrounding tissue, which then causes the swelling and itchiness.

To help prevent infection, it is important to keep any blisters or broken skin clean, and try not to scratch them. It might provide you with relief from the itch, but it risks causing further complications.

Contributing Factors

  • Poor circulation
  • Family history
  • Frequent, prolonged exposure to cold, damp or draughty conditions
  • Low body weight, especially in conjunction with a poor diet
  • Smoking: nicotine increases constriction of blood vessels
  • Compromised circulation or blood vessel integrity

Management of Chilblains At Ballarat Naturopathy

If you have chilblains or feel like you may be at risk for them, it’s always best to have a chat with someone who can assess your specific circumstances. Check our list of practitioners in Ballarat naturopathy here. They may consider some of the following approaches to help you:

  • Improve cardiovascular vessel integrity: Ginkgo, Brahmi
  • Support for circulation: Prickly Ash Ginger, Cinnamon, B vitamins, vitamin E
  • Reduce inflammation: Cayenne, Turmeric, vitamin C

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Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   Her journey into studying Naturopathy started when she was 18 years old.  Katherine  has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as a naturopath and support them through their […]

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