Chilblains Treatment

Sea Salt or Epsom Salt
Posted by Arietta (Chania, Crete, Greece) on 01/11/2012

Adding a cup of sea salt or epsom salt to a foot bath helps tremendously the chilblains. Just have to do it like twice a day for 5-6 days and they'll pretty much be gone depending in the severity. Eating a non-inflammatory diet helps as well.

Elevate Feet, Exercise
Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 07/21/2011

What a great idea, Bill.... I was very much affected by chillblains when I was a child as well. Nowadays I sometimes get them on my feet, not too bad but still bothersome! I bathe my feet 1 min in hot water and then 30 seconds in cold water (more or less, you don't need to be precise). Usually one bath does the trick but coming winter I will try the onion!

Posted by Bill (Gisborne, New Zealand) on 07/21/2011

As a child I sufferd from chilblains, my dad told me of an old cure for this ailment. I thought this remedy was nonsense and was sceptical of trying it. The pain and itching got the better of me so I relented and tried it and it works...... Cut 1 onion and rub over affected area. the symtoms disapear quikly, keep the onion in a zip lock bag and use as required

Aloe Vera, Propolis, Manuka Honey
Posted by Lu (Brisbane, Australia) on 06/10/2011

I had a look at your site for chilblain remedies and noted that you only have limited suggestions. I used aloe vera gel on my toes and it started to disappear in two days.

Another suggestion would be to use propolis (liquid extract) as it is a very powerful healer as well. If all else fails I would try Manuka honey but since it is the most expensive, leave it till last.


Over the Counter
Posted by Steven (Fryeburg, Maine) on 05/03/2011

Hemorriod cream appied to affected areas, also to areas that are known to give problems as a preventive messure. Wear cotton socks and merino wool socks over them. Buy shoes for the cold weather months sized for the extra socks. This has brought relief to me.

Elevate Feet, Exercise
Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, France) on 01/06/2011

For many years I have only had chillblains on my feet (as a teenager I had them in my hands as well). This year luckily I had none, maybe it has something to do with the age but what I always did was bathe my feet one minute in very hot water and 30 seconds in cold water ending with hot. Usually one bath would finish them off for the whole of the winter! I hope this helps...

Black Pepper
Posted by Susan (Dublin, Ireland) on 01/05/2011

I would like to add to the other comments by saying that I found essential oil of black pepper to be very effective for the awful itch of chilblains. You can put it on neat and it will take away the itch (I think that's similar to the "treat like with like", ie obviously the pepper is hot and so are the chilblains). Don't get near eyes! You can also rub in a carrier oil and then add a few drops of black pepper oil. Also, exercise - jumping up and down, a rebounder, skipping etc. Get the blood flowing. Get a basin of cold water and step in and out, or run your feet under the cold tap, then put on the oil, put on lightweight socks and start jumping!

Posted by Tricia (Ireland) on 02/15/2010 84 posts

I remember the awful combo of the itch and pain. I had chillblains in the arch of my foot and the only relief I could get was to stand at the bottom of the stairs and rub my foot on the carpet jumping from one foot to the other till I cut the skin or my mother caught me - whichever came first.

Bathing my feet with mustard powder was what helped me. This seemingly heated the skin closer to the level of the blood vessels and created less constriction. Use a tablespoon to start in a basin of water and go up if it doesn't increase to heat in you skin. One person I know that this remedy also helped used 1/4/tsp mustard powder and a tsp of vaseline and rubbed it on his feet instead of putting it into water.

DO NOT USE this remedy if the chillblains have cut your skin as the mustard powder will burn. The chillblains disappeared at some stage in my teens - never to return.

Posted by Eva (Amsterdam, Netherlands) on 02/12/2010

I had this too, until I was told that urine will make it go away. Before you go to bed put some of your own urine on your toes (or affected area). I did not wash it off, but put socks on before I went to sleep. Did this about 6 times and forgot about it, until I realized about a month later that my toes were not bothering me anymore.

Elevate Feet, Exercise
Posted by P.b. (Sydney, Cape Breton) on 02/12/2010

Severely itchy toes & heels

Hello all, After suffering from this on and off for a year, comments on another forum finally helped me figure out I had chillblains and I thought I would share my experience. Maybe there is higher awareness in other parts of the world but I had never heard of this before and it certainly seemed to be off the radar for the 4 docs. I saw too.

This starts as a severe localized itch usually one one toe, with no mark, but develops into severe itch on most toes, which become swollen, shiny, red and sometimes purple in spots, and severely itchy. There may be flat blister-type things and small spots as well, on the toes and possibly heels. This all happens at the tips of the toes and back of heel, NOT between the toes. I can't describe how awful the itchiness is, it is truly debilitating, preventing you from going out comfortably, and from sleeping.

I saw 4 doctors and was diagnosed with fungal, bacterial and viral infections but the medications didn't help. Meanwhile I was trying to get relief from the itch from soaking my feet in ice water and hot water as hot as I could stand. I was convinced it was a kind of infection and even resorted to putting bleach on my toes. In desperation I scoured the internet one night unable to sleep and finally considered chillblains.

Chillblains are caused by poor circulation and temperature changes the feet are exposed to (some people get this in their fingers too apparently). Despite living in cold Canada, no doctor ever raised this as a possibility with me! I considered myself fit and active but do sit at a desk in a cold room every day and have low bp. I thought it'd be worth a try to see if the chillblain treatments helped. Within a day, my feet felt 100% better though they still looked bad. The trick with chillblains is that once you have them, warming your feet causes them to itch (this is why I kept thinking the "infection" was spreading). Treating the itch with ice and hot water and going barefoot worsened the condition.

The recommended treatment is to elevate your feet to help with swelling, keep your feet warm but avoid temperature extremes, use calamine lotion for the itch or hydrocortisone (though this didn't help me). Vicks vaporub seemed to help too. Exercise that promotes circulation helped, if the itch started I would go for a brisk walk and it would resolve soon after.

If you're not sure about whether you have this, you could try this approach for a day or two - the results will show up that fast! The redness and swelling go down and itching episodes decrease. I thought I would go mad as despite tons of research I could never find a fungal infection that manifested this way, and then the images of chillblains online looked exactly like what I had.

That said, there are bacterial infections that manifest in a similar way and I'm sure other things too, so as with anything it's always worth checking in with a doc. first.

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