Chilblains are lesions on the skin which develop on the toes that are more common in the cooler climates. Knowing the explanation for any disorder goes some distance to help understanding what is happening with them, how to prevent them and the way to handle chilblains. This is definitely the case with chilblains. While they only occur in cold environments, they may not be actually a result of the actual cold. Lots of people who do not have them get cold as well and they do not develop chilblains. Similarly, some individuals develop chilblains with even small changes in temperatures and it not being too chilly. This means that there is a lot more happening than simply the cold that typically gets held responsible for resulting in chilblains.
In the skin there are a lot of small blood vessels (the microcirculation) which help control temperature in the body. When we become cold, these arteries constrict in order to save heat deeper in the body. When we are warm, these blood vessels open up and carry the blood closer to the surface so that we can dissipate heat to cool the body. This is an important normal function. In a chilblain the blood vessels close up like they normally should, however when the foot is warmed, the arteries remain closed when they shouldn't be. This means that waste material start to build up in the skin and there's no blood flow to eliminate them. This leads to an inflamation related reaction along with the release of substances making the chilblain painful and itchy. Eventually the blood vessels will open and the sudden rush of blood to the chilblains brings about further tenderness and also pain. The initial appearance can be a darkish bluish patch, however this might be a reddish appearance after that rush of blood. If this pathology is recurrent every day, then chilblains can be transformed into quite a chronic problem.
Just why in certain individuals the blood vessels continue to be closed for a longer time in colder climates in unknown. They tend to be more prevalent in women, hinting there might be some type of hormonal influence on the process. Nevertheless, men do also get them, thus if it is hormone related, then that is not really the only factor. Surprisingly for an issue that is really widespread, there is certainly comparatively little research been performed to attempt to research this further.
Applying this information about the cause may help people avoid and treat chilblains. Clearly an important thing to do is just not let the feet get cool and keep them warm. If they do become cool, then it's crucial that they are warmed up very slowly in order for the microcirculation to have a opportunity to respond to the increased demand in the skin and the blood vessels can open up to meet that requirement. This means that the waste products will not build up and the inflammation process is not commenced. When that pathology has started, then the treatment process has to move to limit that inflammation process and help get rid of those waste products that have built up within the skin.