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Chilblains | Professor of Life, the Universe & Everything

Chilblains

by Professor

It that time of the year for chilblains. Here in Melbourne, it gets cold, but not cold enough for chilblains to be a big problem. At the University Teaching Clinic we see a few chilblains. So far this year just about every student has missed them! Very frustrating!. They have dismissed them as bruising or a just a skin discolouration. Chilblains are due to the too rapid warming of the foot after it as got cold, so the cold does not really cause it. Despite popular myths, chilblains are not due to poor circulation either as younger people get them – they are due to an inadequate response of the circulation to the temperature change. There is very little research done on chilblains with no real data on any of the ‘remedies’ offered. I sometime wonder if the reason that the ‘creams’ work is not because of the cream, but because of the physical rubbing in of the cream stimulates the healing.

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