Chilblains are a medical condition that affect both the body and the mind of the affected individual. It is caused by the cold which leads to blood circulation problems in the body’s extremities. This pathology comes in various forms that include oedemas, sensations of acute pain and the formation of crevasses and vesicles on the skin.
Chilblains are an affection caused by the cold that affects certain individuals whose body is unable to withstand low temperatures. Persons at risk are mainly women and children given that they are frequently exposed to a wet and humid environment. The risk is even greater when an individual is already subject to blood circulation problems. The areas of the body that are most affected are the fingers and toes although, in general, it is the extremities that are affected (hands, feet, nose and ears). This condition usually manifests itself through sharp, shooting pain that feels like stinging needles. Actually, it is a decrease in blood flow and a defective veinous return that are responsible for the pain.
Chilblains first manifest themselves through red blotches appearing on the affected body part, followed by a certain degree of muscle stiffness and loss of sensitivity. Oedemas can also appear on the fingers and toes. Thick patches also start to cover up the skin on the body’s extremities, which become cold and painful. They may be even more painful once they start to warm up. Sometimes, the fingers or toes may crack and ulcers or blisters may appear, which results in shooting pain that often lasts for a very long time. This pain is caused by the vasoconstriction of blood vessels in the affected body part and it is because they are not sufficiently supplied in blood that theycause painful sensations.
To relieve the pain caused by chilblains, the affected body parts need to be progressively warmed up, in 30°C (86°F) water for example. Lesions that affect the skin through red patches or other deformations are not irreversible although, if left untreated, the affected areas remain sensitive to the cold. You need to proceed to treatments according to the symptoms present and that can relieve the pain in a relatively short period of time. As an example, Arsenicum album 4 or 5 CH is suitable for burns that are relieved by heat and 3 doses of this remedy should be taken daily. Regarding Nitricum acidum, its use is recommended for lesions accompanied by cracking skin and bleeding. Ramunculus bulbosus 4 to 5 CH can be taken 3 times a day to deal with pain worsened by cold and damp weather. Localized treatment can also be undertaken by resorting to Agaricus 4% ointment, which needs to be applied on the affected areas 2 to 3 times a day. For preventive treatment in winter, take a dose of Agaricus muscarius 9 CH or a dose of Secale cornutum 9 CH, a dose consisting of 5 granules, and requiring daily intake.
It is mandatory to consult a doctor when blisters filled with a whitish or blackish liquid start to form, when regular doses of painkillers are ineffective or when a heightened sensibility to the cold lasts several weeks. Other manifestations should not be neglected either. For example, if loss of sensitivity affects the injured body part of if a change in pigmentation occurs, one needs to seek medical attention from a health professional.
• Agaricus Muscarius
• Arsenicum Album
• Nitricum Acidum
• Ranunculus Bulbosus
• Secale Cornutum
Good to know: Today, homoeopathy has several available products and processes that can be used to fight against chilblains. Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is an excellent anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant homoeopathic remedy that increases one’s resistance to the cold and fatigue.