Chilblains are most common on the hands and feet, and occur when superficial blood vessels contract excessively because of an oversensitivity to cold. The skin becomes pale and numb, then red, swollen, and itchy. Eventually the skin may break. SELF-HELP Keep the hands and feet as warm and dry as possible, especially during cold, damp weather. Apply calendula ointment. Do not scratch the chilblains. Regular exercise will improve circulation, as will "windmilling" the arms.

because arteries become clogged or less elastic, with the result that the heart has to work harder in order to circulate the blood. Arteries very often become less efficient with age. The circulation of blood is regulated by the autonomic


Burning, itchy chilblains • Skin in affected areas is red, prickly, and swollen

• Intolerable itching

• Burning pain in affected areas

Chilblains with swollen • Burning, throbbing pain in affected areas veins • Bluish inflammation

• Biting, itching sensation if affected areas are scratched

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