Causes and Symptoms

Swelling of toes due to chillblains.
Swelling / Chillblains

Chillblains are swellings on extremities (typically fingers or toes) caused by the body’s reaction to a hot or cold environment, typically as a result of Reynauds syndrome.

Blood vessels are slow to react (or in some cases react too fast and too extreme) causing blood to either pool or be absent from fingers/toes. Different papers seem to state different things – but the result is the same; lack of blood flow in or out of the affected area,

Chillblains showing broken skin and sores.
The horror of chillblains;  this case may be considered ‘mild’.

Initial symptoms are an itching, a warmth, a throbbing, tingling or numbness. This is normally followed by a red swelling which can take days to reduce. If not treated or further aggravated these swellings can become further inflamed and eventually split, causing severe discomfort and possible infection.

In my case it takes only 10 minutes standing on a cold railway platform to start the rather unpleasant cycle in motion.

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