Pernio/Chillblains

Pernio and chilblains are painful reactions of the skin's small blood vessels to cold temperatures. They typically appear several hours after cold exposure, especially in humid climates. While more common in individuals with poor circulation, they can affect anyone. Initially, they present as small, itchy, red areas that become increasingly painful and dark blue.

Swelling may occur, and they can leave the skin prone to cracking and infection. Commonly affecting the toes but also extending to the fingers and areas of pressure on the feet, such as bunions or tight shoe areas, chilblains can significantly impact one's comfort and well-being.

If you're experiencing symptoms of pernio or chilblains, seek expert dermatological care at Rencic Dermatology to receive personalized treatment and relief.

Pernio/Chillblains FAQs

While chilblains commonly occur on the toes and fingers, they can also affect other areas of the body, particularly those exposed to pressure or tight clothing, such as the ears, nose, and areas with bunions or tight shoes.

Keeping the affected areas clean and moisturized can help soothe chilblains. Using gentle cleansers and fragrance-free moisturizers can prevent dryness and cracking, reducing the risk of infection. Additionally, prescription steroid creams may be recommended by dermatologists to alleviate inflammation and itching.

Chilblains can sometimes be mistaken for conditions like frostbite, dermatitis, or allergic reactions. Dermatologists can differentiate chilblains by examining the characteristic symptoms, such as small, itchy, red areas that become painful and dark blue. Diagnostic tests may also be conducted if necessary.

Lifestyle modifications such as wearing warm, protective clothing, avoiding sudden temperature changes, and quitting smoking can help prevent chilblains from recurring. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight and improving circulation through regular exercise may reduce the risk of developing chilblains.

Yes, certain medical conditions such as Raynaud's phenomenon, lupus, and autoimmune disorders can increase the susceptibility to chilblains. Individuals with poor circulation, anemia, or connective tissue disorders may also be at higher risk. Consulting with a dermatologist can help identify and address any underlying conditions contributing to chilblains.