Let’s be honest. Most of us will never have to deal with the aftermath of frostbite. It might be because you live in a warmer climate or because you are always prepared with the right gear whenever you go out into the cold.
But for many people, a less severe reaction to frigid environments could be a real possibility. It’s always good to know some things in case you ever get stuck out in extreme cold temperatures longer than you thought you might, like how to deal with inflammations known as chilblains. Here, we will discuss chilblains. From chilblains fingers to chilblains toes, we’ll take a look at what chilblains are as well as chilblains home remedies. You might not ever need this information, but it’ll come in handy if you do.
What Are Chilblains?
Unless you live in colder climates, your first real question is going to be, “What are chilblains?” And next, you will probably want to know how to get rid of chilblains. But let’s deal with the first question first. Chilblains are small swellings on the skin that develop following exposure to a very cold climate. These swellings are actually caused by the natural constriction of blood vessels near the skin’s surface. But if the skin reheats too quickly, the widening vessels may not be able to accommodate the sudden rush of blood and begin to swell.
This tends to happen in extremities like your toes and fingers. The skin becomes red and itchy and can even blister if the chilblains are extreme enough. With that in mind, are there any chilblains natural remedies? The answer is yes.
Home Remedies for Chilblains
So, you went out into the cold without a pair of gloves on and now you’ve got chilblains. Now you want to know how to fix chilblains. How do you take down the swelling and pain? Luckily, there are a number of home remedies for chilblains.
Keep the area that is affected by chilblains raised. This can help keep the blood circulating and reduce inflammation, and hopefully pain.
A good way to help your chilblains heal and prevent further damage is to keep them warm. This can range from wearing a set of gloves to wrapping the affected area in a blanket.
Massaging the area affected by chilblains can help increase circulation to the area affected by the chilblains. Keep in mind that you do want to massage gently, so as to not tear or damage any of the skin damaged by chilblains. You can use a warm essential oil to help promote the healing of the skin.
4. Lemon Juice
It might seem counter-intuitive to use lemon juice in this way as most associate lemon juice with stinging in wounds. But, lemon juice could help bring down the inflammation and heal the skin from any blisters that may have formed.
Onions have a number of antibiotic and antiseptic properties that may help reduce the inflammation of chilblains and help the skin heal. This can be done with thick onion slices, or if that’s too awkward, take a pestle and mortar to the onion slices and grind them into a paste that can be put into the affected area.
They’re not a vegetable that you see used in many home remedies, but turnips can help with chilblains. Take some slices or chunks of turnip, and using a pestle and mortar, ground the turnip into a paste and rub the paste into the chilblain area. It might help replace the pain and inflammation of the chilblain.
7. Calendula Oil
Available from your pharmacist, calendula oil can help take some of the pain and itch out of the chilblain.
8. Marigold Soak
Marigold flowers can be found in many a garden, but they could also help with the pain and irritation of chilblains. Take some marigold flowers and boil them in water for approximately 20 minutes. Let the concoction cool for a short while and then soak the area afflicted with chilblains for around 15 minutes. If you add a small amount of sea salt, it may help speed things up.
9. Homemade Skin Mask
Using flour, egg whites and honey, you can create a skin mask that can be used on chilblain. The honey has antiseptic and healing properties that could help alleviate the pain and heal the skin. Place the mask over the affected area right before bed and let it stand overnight. In the morning, wash it off with lukewarm water.
10. Oatmeal Soak
Use an oatmeal soak or oatmeal bath, and soak the affected area in the oatmeal. Oatmeal baths have long been used to help take the itch out of the injured and damaged skin. And it can do the same for chilblain.
11. Aloe Vera
Fresh aloe vera gel can help take the sting and itch out of pretty much any kind of wound including chilblains. Take a fresh leaf or two from an aloe vera plant. Place the leaves into the fridge for a few hours or even overnight. After they have cooled for a while, take a pair of scissors and snip off the end of the leaf. Squeeze the gel out of the leaf onto your chilblains and gently massage the gel into them.
Beyond that, just follow common sense. Don’t pick or rub at the area if you can help it, avoid putting them into the cold until they have healed, and take good care of the wounds in general until they have fully healed. If they become infected, go see a doctor as many of these home remedies might not pack enough punch to clean out the infection.
The beauty of the remedies is that most of them can work in conjunction with any medical treatment that may be offered. Just double check with your doctor to make sure there aren’t any conflicts with current medications.
Be Careful with the Cold
The cold can do a lot of damage to our bodies. In many ways, chilblains are the best-case scenario with exposure to extreme cold temperatures. The worst-case scenario involves amputation of the affected areas with instances of frostbite. But if you pay careful attention to your extremities, the outcome doesn’t have to be that bad. There are several home remedies that can help heal your chilblains.
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“How to Heal and Prevent Chilblains,” Top 10 Home Remedies, http://www.top10homeremedies.com/how-to/heal-prevent-chilblains.html, last accessed June 22, 2017.
“11 Effective Home Remedies for Chilblains,” Search Home Remedy, http://www.searchhomeremedy.com/effective-home-remedies-for-chilblains/, last accessed June 22, 2017.