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Name: Julie
Location: South Africa
Comment: Hi everyone, I am 30 yrs old and I have just discovered this page and this syndrome (for lack of a better word) right now while searching on the Internet. For the first time this Winter i am experiencing this with my toes. Its horrible! Great to see so many posting their stories and remedies 🙂 I will be back.

Name: Aly
Location: Herefordshire
Comment: I’m in my late 30’s and still suffer from chilblains as i have done throughout my childhood.I lead a very active life and am outside alot throughout the winter months and cannot avoid getting cold feet.Steel toe caped boots certainly exasperate the problem but are necessary for my work.What feels far worse than having cold feet,however,is when they are throbbing hot and i’m say hurrying around town and can not take shoes and wooly socks off to alow them to cool down.I also find that even in an evening when i’m warm and relaxed,one foot may be burning hot with a number of chilblains throbbing and the other foot feels like an icicle.To date,no potions or creams help other than to moisturise. :-C

Name: Pat
Location: North East
Comment: I suffer from chilblains each winter. I have tried most remedies, but agree once they have started to develop, there is very little you can do. Mine is always the same toe; strange, isn’t it? Last year it got so bad I contemplated having my toe amputated. It had turned almost black, any way and I thought it was gangrinous. The doctor was no help at all.

Name: Bob
Location: Oregon, USA
Comment: After a cold, wet winter on our farm last year, I developed chillblains. My toes look like little ballons from the bottom and I’ve got black spots on some toes. If I get too cold my fingers start hurting – alot. I bough warm, waterproof shoes and gloves with the same qualities, but it frequently isn’t enough. When I first saw a doctor they thought the black spots were caused by blood clots and put me throug a bunch of tests that were all inconclusive. After thousands of dollars in test I finally got bounced over to a foot specialist who diagnosed chillblains.

Name: chris
Location: poole dorset
Comment: I have had chillblains on and off over the years and did take a tablet witch was fine, but i have got them again, so went to the chemist they had nothing in for chillblains,but did say use deep heat so i am trying that,hope this will help.chris

Name: Jane
Location: Somerset
Comment: Great site, its really helped me with my 5yr old son whos suffering with chillblains. Many Thanks

Name: Michael
Location: Canberra
Comment: Like many I have suffered most of my 40 odd years of life – the exception being when I lived in the tropics. I am physically active – cycling, swimming and doing moderate weights at a gym on a frequent and regular basis, and on this basis dispute physical inactivity as a contributing factor. Cycling in winter has become almost impossible – my toes freeze solid despite multiple pairs of socks, wind proof overboots and the like. I have learned to not NOT keep my feet too warm cycling in winter as warm usually also involves moist – and to thaw them out very gently. Sheep skin ugh boots are an effective if somewhat unfashionable way to thaw otu and keep them warm/dry.

Name: Michelle
Location: Sydney
Comment: I am 41 years of age. I have been suffering from chillblains for past 5 winters. It affects my fingers and I’m starting to feel it in my toes this winter. I try to keep my hands at a constant warm temp but find it impossible to wear gloves when working or just doing the day to day stuff. It’s only feasible to wear gloves when relaxing at night. I have started taking Glucosomine tablets – anything’s worth a try. Not sure if it will make a difference. My grandfather did tell me that urinating on the affected areas is supposed to work but don’t think I’ll ever be desperate enough to try that!!

Name: Lerato
Location: South Africa
Comment: I am a 24 female and have suffered from chillbalins since childhood. The most frustrating thing is most conventional doctors do not know how to treat this or in the beginning years didnt even know what I was suffering from. My relief comes from homeopathic remedies, such as circulation drops. If the drops are taken at the start of winter I bearly feel the affects of chillblains. And find only homeopathic drops, cremas or pills provide me with any relief. Thank you for this site, finally I dont feel alone; living in a country which is below the equator and which never has snow in winter, I am yet to meet anyone who has ever suffered from chillblains in South Africa. I don’t feel alone anymore!!! Very useful website…..

Name: Lemuel
Location: Zimbabwe
Comment: 24July09 I am 37 years of age and have suffered from chillblains each winter since age 10. While most people have them in their feet, i have mine on my fingers. Its nearly impossible to keep my fingers totally warm as there are tasks that cannot be done while wearing gloves. When I was younger all 10 fingers would be swollen and EXTREMELY itchy. No doctor could help, none knew what it was. Now i get chillblains on some of my fingers – as i type this, only 3 of my fingers are severely swollen. I find that staying away from the sun and direct warmth sort of minimises the itching. The worst time for me is now, when winter is ending and the warm season is approaching. The warmth triggers near-unbearable itching. And people just dont understand why i wear gloves in winter – our winters are not that cold, and they have actually become warmer over the years. When i try to explain, people just think i am being a ‘softy’ – they dont say it, but you can see it written on their faces. I am yet to come across a remedy. I just hope that my daughter doesnt get them – she’s 6yrs and hasnt got them yet. I dont know if they are hereditary or not – not much info on the net about chillblains. Anyway, if anyone out there does find a remedy or therapy, please email me on

Name: kylie
Location: newcastle, australia
Comment: As a 42 yo massage therapist, I find relief from chill blains best when slowly massaging the affected toes/ fingers with any oil based product, especially natural essentials like wintergreen, eucalyptus or citrus oils in an almond or other similar base. Rub slowly and gently to encourage circulation, letting the warmth of your hands transfer. Light pressure on the tips of the digits also stimulates the lymph return and reduces painful inflammation. I have used this for over 20 years with great effect. Keep areas dry, yet nourished to maintain skin integrity.

Name: M
Location: New York
Comment: A sure shot remedy for this is Take Warm Water and add large doses of salt into it and soak your feet. It will burn for sometime but then it will fix it for a longer period. I got them in summer and half an hour of this soaking has fixed it. Repeat daily if still presistent.

Name: maureen
Location: invercargill, nz
Comment: I have just got chilblains this spring. Yes they are itchy. I didn’t know not to rub them and so did and made them so much worse. So painful and swollen now. Don’t know what the best way to treat them is. Will try the above advice. I do keep quite active so know that isn’t a cause. Perhaps using a hot water bottle at night when I go to bed has contributed to them.

Name: Diana
Location: Portland, OR
Comment: I have had Chillblains since I was 18, and nearly had frostbite from standing around at a ski race. I agree with what most people have written. Dryness is important, and breathable socks. When I would wear nylon knee socks, my feet would sweat, then get cold, then aggrivate matters. It is hard to fix this problem. What has worked best for me is a topical creme, twice daily. It is some form of Cortisone, and it eventually dries up the blister-like swellings, and then they peel and go away. I am not sure what this product was, but I am going to try to find out since my dermatologist prescribed something else that isn’t working. Once I get the right drug, I will let you all know… because it has worked the best for me. I wear socks to bed that I can kick off when my feet get warm. I do wear Uggs a lot and they are pretty warm. I feel for all of you because a lot of people can’t relate to this problem.

Name: linda
Location: manchester
Comment: l started with chillblains last year my big toe was so painful that l had to keep it covered with a plaster at all times. it did split and got infected the docter gave me antibiotics,witch did work but the cold weather at the moment has started it of again.Lets hope they find a cure for all us chillblain suffers.

Name: Rachael
Location: Scotland
Comment: My 9 year old daughter is suffering once again. It started last year and only really happens to one toe, but a different toe than last year! The doctor was very blase about it all and I was left not really knowing what to do. We moved to Scotland this year and it’s about 6 degrees colder here so I’m really worried. My Granddad seams to think it’s due to a lack of calcium but so far I can’t find anything to back this up. I’ll certainly be massaging her foot again and keeping an eye on the skin. This site has been the most useful yet.

Name: sarah
Location: essex
Comment: i have a chillblain above my little toe that comes back year after year, its so painful and restricts the movement of my foot when im sitting still for any period of time. i use an over the counter chillblain cream that seems to temporiliy work but im still looking for the secret to get rid of them forever…..


Name: Lynne
Location: Cheltenham
Comment: I work outside all day with horses and get chillblains on the outside of my thighs. Even though i am walking around most of the time. I also wear thermal under trousers (sometimes x2!) riding trousers, waterproof trousers and full length fleece lined chaps. How is it possible that i still get them?! But thankfully i don’t seem to get them anywhere else. Does this happen to anyone else?

Name: Mel
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Comment: HI, I developed chill blain in my left index finger after a car accident I got the tip damamged. I dont get the swelling as bad as in the first few years. My only concern now is I have a permanent lump in my tip and its quite sore and only happened this year after I had a couple swellings. Does anyone know if this is normal for chill blains? Or do I have something else??

Name: Catherine
Location: West Yorkshire, England
Comment: Like most people here I have suffered with chillblains since childhood and it is an incredibly painful condition that most people are lucky to know nothing about. My feet get very cold and rarely warm up once they are cold. All my toes are affected with chillblains and I feel it is related to poor circulation. Yesterday I wore 3 pairs of socks and slippers at home with heating on and my feet remained stone cold all day. Best thing to warm them is for my partner to sit on my feet on the couch. Sometimes I do give in and have a very hot shower or bath and I know it is short term relief but it is the only way I can get to a normal temperature. It was interesting to see that there is someone else that suffers from a similar hot and cold sensation like me as I frequently suffer with one hot foot and the other cold and the same with my hands. I have this throughout the year and keep putting off going to the doctors with it as I fear they won’t be any help. I find that chillblain cream gives a little relief and when I was younger I did try a water bath with mustard powder in (Mum’s tip) and I seem to recall this did help a bit but it is important not to use hot water – just warm. Good luck to all in overcoming this painful condition!

Name: charlotte
Location: holland
Comment: This is the first winter with chillblaines What is interesting is that I suffer from bad circulation I have just had the arteries in my left leg measured .. the pressure…. and they discovered that there was a blockage in the ankle region but could do nothing With the sudden cold this Xmas 3 toes developed chillblains so they must be caused by this circulation problem I have When the toes are cold the soles of my feet are completely white no blood As yet have not treated them but have a friend who goes to an acupuncturist and it helps I am 70

Name: Arslan
Location: Peshawar, Pakistan
Comment: Thanks very much for sharing such pricesless information and then the touch of personal experience. Great job. One more thing to give you more food for thought. Are chilblains associated with any chronic medical conditins

Name: louise Crandell
Location: new york,new york
Comment: I first got chilblains while traveling in the south island of New Zealand in the winter. A friend recommended a homeopathic doctor in Christchurch. He was an elderly gentleman but got down on his knees poked at my swollen, itchy foot and pronounced ‘yes, chilblains’. I thought they were something out of Dickens, how wrong I was. He gave me a little bottle of little pills- nicotiana. Worked like a charm, within 24 hours much improved and within a week – gone. He had suffered chilblains too. I had been warned against warming my feet by the fire but didn’t heed the wise advise! The chilblains have returned this winter – on one toe – and I am looking for a homeopath. . . . But thank you for all the info.

Name: Ann Dalia
Location: Atlanta, GA
Comment: Louise, can you buy nicotiana pills in the U.S.? Perhaps at a Whole Foods or Mom and Pop Health Store? I have had chillblains for several years on hands and now have problems with my feet. I am very active and fit but have poor ciculation. I have never heard anyone speak of a pill that works! Please tell me more.

Name: Kirsty
Location: Cambridgeshire
Comment: Im 21 years old, and this is my second year of chillblains. I remember my mum used to suffer from them and i wondered what all the fuss was about…boy I know now!! I have a terrible one on my little toe, it is swollen, itchy and throbbing and i have one on my big toe, and i think another one on my ‘index’ toe. Its got so bad that im not going out this evening for new years eve as i cant bare to put shoes on :(. Its really getting me down, I just wish there was a permanent cure. Anyway thanks for this site it really helps 🙂

Name: Steve
Location: wales
Comment: My wife is suffering at the moment, and has for many winters. I wondered if Viagra may help this condition, has anybody tried it? I don’t use it and we couldn’t afford it anyway.

Name: Andra
Location: California
Comment: I am 25 and have been suffering for about 5 winters now. At first my mom said she though it was athlete’s foot, but the cream didn’t do very much for me and the redness/itching/swelling isn’t between the toes. I get them on the tops of my middle toes towards the outside of the toe just below the nail by the cuticle. Boy! Who knew such little things could itch SO much. Sometimes the spots feel like they are burning up. I have very cold feet all the time. I may also have Reynauld’s. I sort of think they might be related. Anyway, I used to warm up my feet by sticking them right over the forced air furnace vent. BAD IDEA, they made my chilblains way worse. I find its best to warm them up as slowly as possible, or just live with cold feet. I don’t like wearing socks all the time, they don’t make my feet any warmer, just trap the moisture in. My problem is that my feet sweat all the time, despite being cold. Weird, huh? Anyone else experience this? Sometimes I use hydrocortisone ointment, makes the itching somewhat more bearable, also putting my feet up.

Name: Liam Mc.
Location: UK
Comment: Just got chillblains :/ One of them has split and now I hae a almost perfect circle of skin missing on my big toe


Location: Berlin, Germany
Comment: I’m 38 and am experiencing chilblains for the first time. I moved here from the tropics in October and have been suffering with sore, swollen, itchy toes, particularly the big toes and most of the other toes as well. I feel like an old woman as I can not enjoy winter activities with my kids. After about 3-5 minutes outdoors, my feet freeze and begin to get numb and swollen; I can hardly walk back home and when I do, my toes are blue, in fact they remain blue even after a nights sleep.I have similar problems with my fingers, a persistent numbing and freezing. I’m convinced it’s circulatory in nature as even in warm weather people tell me my hands are cold. I will try some of the remedies suggested. Many thanks.

Location: ireland
Comment: i have chillblains with years,last year i was told about the old remedy treat the affect area with the first wee(urine)in morning believe me it WORKS, might have to do it a few times, but after all the years of itching,scratching and throbbing i was willing to try anything. Give it a try,see does it work!

Name: carly
Location: devon
Comment: im 22 and have suffered from chillblains for 6 winters. I notice people talk about getting them on hands and feet, aswell as these i get them on my thighs and ears too! I do a physical job so i excercise alot. I find comfrey ointment helps with the itching and the skin cracking but like anything else only help not cure. Good site got some more ideas to try. Thanx

Name: Gerry
Location: Belfast, Ireland
Comment: There has recently been a very long cold spell in Ireland. I developed very painful chillblains on my toes and on the sole of my foot. I have not had chillblains since for about forty years. I used ‘Snowfire’, an over the counter, old fashioed cure, emollient ointment, with positive results.While the chillblains on my toes disappeared in a couple of days, the one on the sole of my foot is reqiring me to rest my foot until the inflamation goes.

Name: Des Cochrane
Location: Newcastle
Comment: I am a healthy 53yr old guide in Scotland been walking and skiing all my life, just developed chillblains last month first time in my life. Why do they itch more at night in bed ? I have a cream from chemist but now I have burst blisters and dry skin !!


Location: United States
Comment: I’m a physician – board certified in Internal Medicine. I’ve suffered from chilblains (the medical term is pernio) for several years. Before that I had Raynaud’s disease (caused by spasm of the blood vessels).This occurs when fingers or toes get cold. The affected area, with a clear line of demarcation, turns white, then blue, on rewarming – red. This description separates it from pernio. Although I think, the 2 conditions are related. This website is quite helpful and, after a quick online search, I thought the best medical discussion was at the Mayo Clinic website. Chilblains are sometimes caused by a serious illness; one should therefore consider seeing a physician if the symptoms are not clearly associated with the known causes.

Name: Vikki
Location: Manchester, England
Comment: I have suffered from chilblains for a number of years and have foudn that a herbal pill called Antistax really helps, if you take it early enough and keep taking it. It contains red vein extract which is supposed to help circulation in the legs, and I know mine is very abd as I also suffer from bad veins and swollen legs which the Antistax also helps. In the UK you can buy it from the chemist or the supermarket.

Name: David
Location: Nottinghamshire
Comment: This is my first visit to the site and am very grateful for the large variety of comments. I am 65 and although aware of the condition I have never suffered from until now. I will be trying various approaches and up-date you all with any results.

Name: Kathy
Location: U.S.A.
Comment: I’ve had cold hands and feet all my life. As a child when we went out for the day sledding my feet would feel like they were frozen, I would go back home limping and crying. Massaging helped and being in room temp helped. My fingers would be a mixture of gray purple and orange when I took my gloves off. I don’t actually remember having chilblains until I was an adult. Drs. and others assumed it was athletes foot. The cold antifungal cream made them feel better at the moment, stopped the itching but didn’t help them get better in the long run. Also walking bare foot on the cold wood floor soothed the itching. Little did I know this was making them worse. Now I always wear socks and slippers, even socks in bed. I would have to wear slippers into work because shoes hurt my feet so much with chilblains. Good advice when you have chillblains on your toes wear aome kind of much larger shoe or soft shoe because the pressure on your swollen toes makes them feel much worse. A company called Foot Smart sells some great shoes and slippers for swollen feet. Later, an old german lady told me not to tie my shoes so tightly. That has really helped a lot. When I was 40 a dr. finally knew they were chillblains. She sent me to a rheumatologist. One thing he did was hold me feet up in the air for 10 min while I was lying down. The middle 3 toes of each foot turned purple. Yes it was poor circulation. He said I had Raynaud’s syndrome and also blood tests showed I had some kind of blood protein that clumped up and thickened when I get cold which made the poor circulation effects even worse. He gave me a prescription for a calcium channel blocker also used for high blood pressure. I couldn’t believe how much warmer by fingers and toes were. We moved to the south about 20 years ago where the winters are mild. So I haven’t had the problem much down here. Moving to a warmer climate really helps. I don’t take the medicine here, I just keep my toes and fingers warm. Occasionally though I still get the chilblains even just from walking without slippers too long on the kitchen floor in the winter. Anything you can do to increase blood circulation will help the most. And of course, keep your hands and feet warm.

Name: caroline
Location: norfolk
Comment: i think i may have chillblains but i’m not sure. its on my inner thighs, with a sort of mottled redness burning and very severe itching. i’ve never had them on mny feet but we’ve had the coldest winter i can remember this year and last week i went for a walk and my thighs were completely numb. later on the itching and burning started.does this sound like chillblains? the hot bath makes it worse.

Name: samuel johnston
Location: in bed
Comment: I LOVE YOU! But I hate chillblains! This is the best site on the whole wide internet!

Name: mari
Location: Italy
Comment: Hi, I also believe that chillblains are due to poor circulation. I just got my first 3 weeks ago. It hurts more when I go to bed at night! My regular dr. had no idea what it was so I went to the Emergency room. I was told to take 800mg of Aspirin (presumably to help blood flow) and given a pill that reinforces the blood vessels. Its called Meliven Plus and its main ingredients are Rutina and Melitolus officinalis. They also suggested I see an Angiololist to check out my veins. I do feel a bit better since I’ve started this simple treatment. Good luck to all!

Name: kat
Location: England
Comment: Hey guys, I have just started developing these at 24. I’ve had bad circulation for several years, which I think is related to my chronic fatigue/ME/Fibromyalgia (Drs have yet to decide which of the above it is). However my doctor is quite dissinterested in my bad circuation. Wierdly, this is one of the most diffcult ongoing problems because it causes more pain and things such as chillblaines to develop. I think that Drs are generally dissinterested in this sort of thing, but poor circulation really does cause a lot of additional problems. This site has been really helpful – thanks. Especially the bit about oils such as eucalyptus. I’ll try some now! K

Name: Satish
Location: Pune, India
Comment: I’ve got chillblains in the most unlikely of places.. on the middle of my left shin. This happened because of exposure to cold in Milwaukee using thermals bought in India! The good thing is that none of the other areas are affected. In India winters are relatively warm (5-15deg Centigrade), but the itch and rash like sensation starts precisely during the winter months. In fact the itch made me wake up now and do a bit of searching on the subject. This condition can easily be mistaken for frostbite (which is what I thought it was, till I came upon this term). Smoking and alcohol do tend to irritate further. I would have expected the problem to resolve itself 4 years after the initial occurrence, but this seems to be a permanent condition, that requires continuous treatment and care. I found the following treatment effective: 1. Keep the affect spot clean and dry. 2. Avoid scratching! 3. Exercise is good. Earlier I used to run 20km/week and the problem would subside. 4. Extreme temperature changes are the worst enemy of this condition. Anything that causes your circulation to fluctuate rapidly from one extreme to the other is not good. 5. Yoga is effective as it soothes the mind and calms the nerves. 6. In the final analysis, you are the best doctor. you need to learn how to handle the conditions yourself. Your site has been the most useful, so far. Thanks a lot!

Name: Keels
Location: Cheshire
Comment: I’ve has chilblains onmy toes for about 8 years, getting steadily worse. The pharmacist said it was the Atenolol beta blockers that I was taking that had caused it because my blood pressure was lowered – I don’t take them anymore. When my blood pressure is high I’m not plagued by the chilblains. I think my chilbalins may have been caused by getting my feet too cold and then getting into a warm bath! (I wish I’d listenned to my mum!) If I go abroad somewhere warm in the winter my chilblains miraculously disappear almost immediately, they are back within 4 days of returning to our winter. I’ve noticed they are worse when I’ve been sitting at the computer for hours on end – so I firmly believe that lack of exercise exacerbates chilblains. I read once somewhere on the internet that GINGER is good for chilblains. It didn’t say what to do with the ginger though. I make ginger tea by chopping up some fresh ginger root and steeping it in water (nice with honey). I also rub some of the ginger root juice onto my toes. I’m sure the ginger helps.

Name: Celeste
Location: Michigan
Comment: Wow, am I glad to find this site! My doctors have been stumped for three years and so have I. There are so many suggestions I can’t wait to try. Thank you, everyone for sharing your experiences.

Name: Pauline
Location: UK
Comment: I’ve had chillblains on and off for about 10 years.. never knew there was anything you could do about it.. nor have I ever seen a doctor about it. The comments are really interesting, and I’m tempted to go along the homeopathic lines.. as at the moment theyre driving me nutz itching. My feet are always cold, and I’ve always liked them cold, can’t bear it wen they’re hot. However, wen cold my toes do go purple and look not healthy at all!! So, I guess on reading all the comments, mine’s also probably to do with bad circulation. Once my feet get warm, thats when mine are the worst, red hot, swollen, itchy.. that’s when I just have to run them under freezing cold water to get any kind of relief. Whoever does this site, thankyou. Its a really good, pleasant and informative site. Well done.

Name: Hannah
Location: Uk
Comment: I first had chillblains last year, when I lived in a flat with electric heaters (not central heating) in some rooms. Floors were very cold, even with shoes & socks..I went to a chiropodist & told them I had freezing feet most of the time, which then often became unbearably hot & itchy, & painfull, resulting in a red kind of bruising. They tested my feet with an small ultrasound for circulation, which turned out normal. Then massaged with herbal cream (possibly eucalyptus) & added a foam insole into my shoe. These things helped for a while. Now its winter again- need to find some suitable cream. This site has helped me, as no-one I know have chillblains & more info is good! Thanks

Name: Marie
Location: Chester
Comment: I just want to say thanks for this site. I have painful, hot, itchy toes for a couple of weeks now and been at my wits end. I even thought I had gout for a while. But thanks to a sudden flash of inspiration and then finding this site I now know what is wrong with me and will be able to try some self-help techniques. Cheers

Name: Audrey
Location: Ireland
Comment: Thank you for this site and all the comments! Great to see I’m not alone suffering from this condition. I’ve started getting chilblains 2 years ago. I’ve always had poor circulation and these chilblains are getting worse every winter! It’s usually on my fingers but since yesterday it’s also at the tip of my big toes and it’s really painful! I will try some of the advice from this site and will update my comment when I find something that works!

Name: Martha
Location: Northern California
Comment: I first had chilbains 35 years ago when working in a church basement on a cold concrete floor, but didn’t know what it was. I have mild Raynaud’s and this winter, it has recurred on one toe on each foot. I think cold, damp, and snug shoes contributed, as it’s on the toe tips which touch the inside of the shoe. This has given me much to consider and will discuss with my doctor at the next appointment. Thank you, thank you!

Name: Mark
Location: Northern California
Comment: Ive had this problem since ive moved up north from sunny southern calif. As everyone says, gotta keep the feet dry, I sometimes will change my cotton socks 4x a day. After lots of research and trying things, ive found a blood thinner in the winter months keeps the blood flowing in the toes. I got the perscription thru Kaiser and now its my winter ritual. I still do get it here and there but while on the blood thinners, there seems to be less blood clotting and my feet are liveable and usually fine. I feel for all of us as no one truly knows how to help us. The blood thinners have seemed to cure the problems for me for the last few years. Im gonna try taking a simple asprin to thin the blood soon, good luck to all.

Name: Sue
Location: Gloucester
Comment: Thanks for the site! I have had chilblains for about 16yrs, since my 1st child was born. I haven’t had it really bad for over 10 yrs, when the Dr prescribed Eumovate steriod cream. I have also used paprika and olive oil and used strips of bandage. This year is a bad year again, I am wondering whether it is time to go done the strips of bandage route! My son said to me at the breakfast table this morning that he had something on his toes that he wanted me to look at, for some reason I thought Verucca, but no, he has chilblains on his middle toes 🙁 He is 9. I now know what he is going to g through every winter for the rest of his life! I am not sure whether to try treating at home, or to visit the Dr. I was actually wondering if the treatment has changed in the past 12 or so yrs since I last went. But it doesn’t appear to have! Many thanks, Sue

Name: Ian
Location: Yorkshire
Comment: I have developed red itchy patches on my toes and even thought it may be something to do with my toenails. I went to see a chiropodist and she told me it looked like chillblains. We have had a very cold winter here which may have attributed to it. I am going to try soaking them in hot salted water as recommended above. Thanks

Name: Jan
Location: Yorkshire
Comment: This is such a useful great blog thanks everybody I have developed what everyone is describing Doc says its chillblains too – mine dt start itching everytime they seem to start when my feet are really cold fortunatly just been in winter so far then I get the swelling and pain one toe on each foot this winter last winter it was just one toe one foot – deep joy!! they are sooo painful sometimes its difficult to walk again this is a really great blog very helpful I tried the salt water as one of my chillblains has split this yr and doesnt seem to be healing!! but couldnt stand the pain and stinging – we are all poor long suffering people!!

Name: Steph
Location: East Anglia
Comment: I work on outside appointments and drive between them, so am in that hot-cold cycle, and have had warning tingling on my outer thighs….will ensure I wear long johns and keep the van cooler! On the subject of socks, as I get REALLY cold feet but so far no chillblains, cotton is the worst thing for winter socks. It absorbs moisture and is the poorest at wicking it away. Wool is much warmer and wicks moderately if good quality merino. Your best bet is a blend of merino wool and something like Coolmax – just like fleece the right synthetic fibres will keep feet dry which means they keep warmer. Ditch the cotton socks! Also look for Outlast, a great hi tech fibre that retains warmth when needed.

Name: Jackie
Location: Sheffield Sth Yorks
Comment: Ive suffered from these blighters for years and this year its reducing me to tears after the winter we’ve had, its like walking on drawing pins. I do playground duty as part of my job and have found that only snow boots help but I’m so pleased to find this site and have some fellow sufferers even though I feel very sorry for you all. Thanks for all the tips I’m going to try the cortisone cream and massage.

Name: Martin
Location: Northumberland
Comment: Exercise is definitely the key, for me at least. I normally exercise 5 days a week but for the last 2 years I’ve only managed to exercise once a week or even once a fortnight due to a back injury. I suffered chilblains on my toes last year. This was the first time ever. I had them – still have slight ones – on my toes and fingers this year. And my ears. These last 2 Januarys and Februarys have been the coldest I’ve known but I think the lack of exercise is the main cause. My back is slowly getting better so I will be able to exercise regularly next winter.

Name: Richard Murch
Location: United States
Comment: Thanks for this website and for the comment and information. I am 63 and still suffer chilblains..

Name: Antony Palmer
Location: Surbiton
Comment: Rhus Venenata mother tincture is a wonderful homeopathic cure for chilblains. To be applied topically.

Name: Charles
Location: London
Comment: Hi, I suffered with severe chilblains in my feet up until the age of 12. Every winter (grew up in Liverpool) walking to and from school in the snow, I would be in agony and spent every lunchtime/teatime with my feet in a bowl of freezing water to try and get relief from the burning/itching. As I got older, I instinctively learned to hate shoes, or more accurately, socks. I’m 54 now and still don’t wear shoes or socks. I only wear open back clogs or mules without socks and remove them at every oppurtunity. I can honestly say that I never ever suffer from chilblains and remarkably I can’t remember the last time I had cold feet. My wife calls me an alien because I stand in snow with flip-flops on and my feet are warm to the touch. I’ve also noticed that a lot of men around my age have yellow toenails which I believe is caused by fungus, I’ve never had a problem with this either. I remember chilblains to be a nightmare but I really do think the answer lies in limiting the temperature range that your body has to deal with. I appreciate that some people may have an underlying medical problem that could also be a cause but as crazy as it sounds, at least for me, a constant lower temperature is better than a varied temperature. I wouldn’t wish chilblains on my worst enemy, just the memory is enough to make me shudder. I hope you all find something that works for you.

Name: Glenys
Location: Sheffield UK
Comment: I’m so glad I have found this site as I have just started with this problem myself, this year. The feet are affected ui tho the ankle and rather than go red, the feet and ankles swell like they are retaining water, then rash up once scratched at I let my feet get extremely cold a couple of days ago and now, although they alternate between hot and cold to the touch, they FEEL hot all the time, and itch at night. The other night I had to take a cold pack from the freezer, wrap it in a small towel and put this near my feet under the duvet for relief. I also, like someone earlier have fibromyalgia which affects the circulation. Someone also suggested Eumovate, and that has urea in it – which gives strength to the peeing theory!! I wont be doing that yet though myself!!! I have taken away a few other ideas though and will report back on whether they help. First I will try not to get the feet too cold and moisurise and massage. Thanks

Name: Tim
Location: Wanaka NZ
Comment: Hi, great site. I have suffered from cold hands/feet ever since I got frostbite as a postie in the UK.Was Diagnosed with Raynauds back in the ’80’s and had two sympthectomies(?)- operations to alleviate the problem. But even so I never suffered with chillblains, yet I can remember my dad having them. He was convinced they were not caused by the cold, but by warming up too quickly after being cold. I used to do heaps of running and the increased blood flow may have helped, because now I am older(57) and do less I have developed chillblains on my big toe for last 2 years, ouch! Sorry dad, now I know what the fuss was all about. Mine are worse when I get out of bed in the morning, don’t itch but throb and burn…I sympathise with you all!

Name: Colleen
Location: North West Suburbs of Melbourn
Comment: Im 28 and have suffered Chillblains most of my adult life, I didnt really know what it was until a few years ago when someone suggested I probably had chilblains, all this time I was telling everyone I had mild frost bite as Chillblains sounded like an infectious didsease,sometimes it gets so itchy I’m convinced I have tinea! I think I aggravated the Chillblains by insisting on wearing fashionable ballet flats in the dead of winter, it only takes a few minutes to be exposed to the cold and BANG! I’m suffering for 2 weeks with red balloonly like inflamed toes that no longer fit in my normal shoes,forcing me to wear flipflops walking around in on the balls of my heel. I have been wearing warmer, more insulated shoes but for me Chillblains is inevitable, I’m just guessing its my bad circulation, my hands & feet are always cold, even in warm weather…so I guess I’m just gonna have to live through it every winter, I’m just glad my toes havent yet split & infected like the other poor unfortunates here, I truly sympathise,its so annoying, just thankful it isnt life threatening.

Name: Gem
Location: Qld, Australia.
Comment: I think showers are the culprit in my case!! The sudden temperature change from cold to hot flaires my chillblains almost instantly! So i’ve given up showering (only joking) Letting my feet warm up slowly before showering keeps them away. ALSO -> Anyone with chillblains or any foot problems definitly needs a pair of ‘siver socks’ usually on the shelves of hiking/camping shops. X-static are AMAZING!!! Also stops stink feet…which I dont have but i’m sure you all do haha. seriously though X-static socks are amazing…order them online if you cant get them locally ¢¾

Name: Gem
Location: Qld, Australia
Comment: Just wanted to say that I’m not affiliated with X-static at all. my previous comment does sound a bit suss haha.

Name: Al
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Comment: Hi, My mom & I always suffered from chillblains until my mom started taking procydin for her arteritis- claiming that it was the procydin had something to do with the chillblains diappearance. I on the other hand decided to move to warmer climates…

Name: Jonathen
Location: South Africa
Comment: Thanks for putting this website together Steve, it’s been very helpful. I hope my experiences can also be of help, please read my comments. I’ve been getting chillblains on my hands every winter for the last 5 years, getting progressively worse every year, I’ve tried tissue salts and anti inflammatory creams with no real help, but this year I was told by two very well known health specialists that ‘cold pressed’ linseed / flaxseed oil (which is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids) and together with green barley grass gets the endocrine system working and that is what controls blood circulation. Well I’m a cheapskate and have not tried the barley grass or the ‘cold pressed’ linseed oil which is more concentrated in Omega 3 essential fatty acids than the raw linseeds themselves, but have just been having about 1 – 2 tablespoons of raw linseeds a day for the last 6 days and have definitely seen an improvement and reduced inflammation of the chillblains, which are almost completely healed now. I have also been taking Niacin (Vitamin B3) tablets which improve blood circulation, but I’m convinced that the linseeds are the better choice as they are natural.

Name: Ella
Location: nz
Comment: Does anyone think garlic would help? because someone said ginger does. me and my mum both get low blood pressure from standing up too quickly so that might explain why we’re the only people in the family who get chillblains! it’s annoying because we’re also the only people in the family that get athletes foot! (and we always get it in winter!) are these conditions possibly related?

Name: Rachel
Location: Melbourne
Comment: I get chilblains every winter and swear by McGloins Chilblain Ointment.

Name: Maegan
Location: NZ
Comment: KONAKION pills!!! I get them from the chemist every winter! it is a high dose vitamin K and they are chewable chocolate pills. They taste like M and M’s. They work like a charm – within 24 hours all swelling is gone and the itch =) i find that the creams help sooth but dont really do much – i much prefer the high dose of viatmins. Cost $11.50 for 10 tablets of 10mg Vitamin C! In the viatmin section =)

Name: Jennifer Z.
Location: CA
Comment: I am 22 years old. I’ve suffered with chillblains since 4-5 years ago. I’ve found out nothing works, but exercising, keeping away from moisture, not touching or rubbing, and hiding it away from heat/the cold/shrimp! when it’s COLD on my hands or feet, i would cross my legs and warm my feet on my chair. if it’s my hands, i would put them under my thighs (switching the hands back and forth) while i’m on my computer desk.

Name: Jean Mother of 3 Age 50
Location: Bega NSW Australia
Comment: Wow! Thanks for this web site. So wonderful to hear ideas from fellow sufferers. It is amazing to me that so many doctors and chemists really have no idea about chill blains and don’t understand how incredibly painful and debilitating they are. I first got them in High school when I had to wear black nylon panty hose as part of our school uniform. I had to get special permission to wear socks and sandals(very unattractive!) as my toes were too swollen and sore to wear shoes. I never wear stockings now, except for very short periods if I have to go to a wedding or something!This week I just got back chill blains for the first time in a few years of living in Bega, after a week in Sydney in a cold house where my toes never warmed up. I stupidly used an electric blanket at night even though I know that in the past I have learnt electric blankets are a no-no for chill blain sufferers. I appreciate all the ideas given in these comments. I agree with the symptoms, and find the worst thing is allowing my feet to overheat, and make sure I never put my feet near a heater or hot water bottle. I wear leather shoes or over sized sports shoes or even open sandals like Masseur sandals with cotton socks. Unlike one comment writer, I cannot bear woollen socks as they can become far too hot. I use pure cotton socks and although my feet do get damp and sweaty and cold at times, they don’t let my feet overheat. I wear over sized ugg boots in winter, but quickly take them off if they start to feel a bit too warm. Maintaining an even temperature is the key for me. The things that I have used over the years that have helped include: lanolin cream massaged on and left on; Heel balm- a thick cream with lanolin and urea; creams with anesthetic and anti-inflammatory ingredients(eg lignocaine); Vitamin K definitely helped, but I now can’t buy it anywhere. I remember something called Nicotinamide really helped but I can’t buy it now. I will look online for KONAKION mentioned above. But the cheapest and most effective treatment I have ever used is combining use of lanoline creams every night when I have the chill blains, and when they are inflamed, twice a day soaking my toes in fresh wee(urine) as recommended by a doctor years ago. People who don’t suffer the pain and burning itch of chillblains can’t imagine what would make me do this! I quietly take an ice cream container and paper towel into the bathroom, urinate into the container and sit on the toilet with my feet in the container for about 5 minutes. Then take feet out and place on the paper towel and allow the urine to dry on my toes. I really believe this plus the lanoline on my toes under cotton socks at bedtime, is the most successful treatment I have used. It doesn’t cure the pain and itch immediately so I use an anti inflammatory anti itch cream when necessary for a day or two until the chillblains settle which they do fairly quickly, but I still have to be very careful for the rest of the winter never to let my toes get too warm or too cold. Hope this helps!

Name: Hannah
Location: Christchurch
Comment: Hello im 18 ans i get chill blains all over my toes. some days they are so sour i can bealy walk i have tried lots of things to get rid of them nothig is working What should i try next. like to day i cant walk with out being in pain.

Name: Nicole
Location: Wollongong Aust
Comment: I too have suffered chillblians for the last 7 or so winters, a few years after my son was born, and as it is not really that cold here (i grew up in canberra and never got them) i didn’t realise what they were and neither did my doctor! Thanks to all for sharing your experiences, i was at a loss as to how to treat them and i thought i was pretty much alone in my suffering. After reading the above I now think i’m pretty lucky as i only get them on my fingers and am going to give the extra exercise and vitamins a whirl. I hope we all find some relief!

Name: Greg
Location: Melbourne
Comment: Hi My first experience with chillblains was many years ago. I had my hands in cold water cleaning some equipment. It was winter and very cold. My hands swelled and cracked around the joints. The itching was unbearable. It took a number of years and precautions avoiding gettin my hands cold or wet but they came good. Unfortunately now I have chillblains in my feet. I’m a road cyclist and my feet get very cold. Even though I wear 2 pair of socks my feet are still like blocks of ice. At night time my wife cooks the bed with her electric blanket and I have to get up because my feet itch unbearably. I would just like to move to somewhere that has a better climate. The cold mornings here are terrible. I have no intention of giving up cycling though. I have times when I get quite down because of these horrible things. I tried stop itch but it did’nt do anything. I imagine there are others here who hate winter and hate cold weather.

Name: Jane
Location: Dunedin, NZ
Comment: I rub tea tree oil into my feet at the first sign- it burns a bit. Keep doing this everyday, twice daily if needed, don’t wash the oil off just put your socks on over the top, change socks daily. wear slippers when at home on cold floors. This clears mine up within a day or two, before coming up with this I could suffer for quite a while.

Name: Donna Lynn
Location: Hamilton, ON Canada
Comment: August 3, 2010: As I was looking for information on shingles, I remembered my childhood experience with chilblains – and here you are. I commiserate with all of you on the distress this causes. When I showed symptoms of this my father suggested an old remedy that many of you may not believe but I’ve never had it since. Really! As someone who has Reynaud’s also I do not do well in the cold climate (and I live in Southern Ontario). My dad suggested that I go WALK IN THE SNOW! I thought I’d die over that one being only 12 years old at the time. So on a nice cold afternoon with new snow down I ventured out the back door – have never done it again and never had chilblains again. I can’t explain it, but this worked for me. All the best to All of You! D

Name: AJ
Location: Australia
Comment: I have suffered for 10 years now. It first started at work standing in a chiller room under the fan and has continued every winter since. I am mainly affected on all my middle toes and they are very painful. No splitting yet though! My feet also sweat in winter very badly and never warm up. Thanks for advice as nothing has worked so far.

Name: ryley
Location: calgary canada
Comment: i won’t repeat what has been a common theme here re: the unbearable itch, drastic temp fluctuations, etc… suffice it to say the alberta winters have not helped my chillblains – someone has mentioned b3 – niacin. when i was talking it regularly in the past along with msm [methyl sulfonal methane] i almost never suffered with them. make sure that the b3 gives a ‘flush’ effect. there is a non flush niacin on the market and it doesn’t do the same thing. msm is very good for circulation so the two together do wonders. as far as peeing on them goes, my aunt in liverpool told me that was the only cure. there is a cream in canada with urea [a component of urine] in it that i found very helpful, and i have also had good success with soaking in warm salt water with vineger in it. it takes more than one soak, but has given much relief when the itch has been unbearable. i wish everyone the best with this awful torment. oh, ps, b3 is related to triptophan so with regular use my sleep is vastly improved also.

Name: Clare
Location: South Australia
Comment: Mine are bad on my fingers – still here this year and it’s summer now! I think this is due to the unusually wet year – the moisture makes the chilblains worse. Never wear pantyhose – always wear boots in winter – with 2 pairs of socks. I am very active – I don’t think the exercise is a factor. Applying topical creams is not practical for me as the chilblains are so tender I can’t tolerate them being touched. A doctor once told me to keep WHOLE body warm – don’t just focus on hands and feet – keep arms and legs well covered too so body doesn’t sacrifice hands and feet….only solution for me has been trips to the tropics during our winter.

Name: Margaret
Location: Ireland
Comment: I have had chillblains on my fingers on my right hand (I am right handed) each winter, for a few years now. I find that if I start to cover up my hands from the cold early, around September, I can prevent the problem occurring too severely, but if I get caught out and my hands are exposed to the cold at all the chillblains come on very quickly and take a very long time to go. They are painful and itchy and sore, but my main problem is how unsightly they look. It looks terrible, like you have some awful contagious disease! So embarrassing! I’m gonna try some of the suggestions above – thankyou all!

Name: jenna
Location: london
Comment: I was living in Australia when i first developed them,now in living in London..I thought they would be twice as bad lol But thankyou to everyone who has shared their advise i feel like i have some hope to enjoy this winter!!

Name: Donna
Location: Worcestershire
Comment: I have suffered with chilblains for years, the worst 2 years ago on my fingers. ( so painful i could not hold a pen). Now can you belive it i have them on my outer thighs where they get like blocks of ice. These are really horrible and painful making my jeans tight on the leg. I have a very active job but work in the cold. I also go to zumba dance classes twice a week that certainly gets the blood moving around the veins. Silk socks and gloves are great next to the skin with another layer over them. I also found wearing a magnetic bracelet helps with the fingers as well.

Name: Diane
Location: Shropshire
Comment: I have found fantastic relief from waterproof spray dressing. Easily available from chemists and online it acts as a spray skin, build it up with three or four coats over about a fifteen minute period and watch the redness and swelling go down overnight. Its just like treating a mouth ulcer in principle.

Name: Esther
Location: Cotswolds
Comment: I work outside riding horses all day, in all weathers and I too get them on my thighs. I broke my left leg 7 years ago and ever since my left leg has been far worse than my right. This year already my left leg has HUGE chillblains from the top of my thigh right down the inside and outside of my leg to my knee. I wear thermal leggins under my jods and over-trousers but still I get them. I occasianly get them on my feet and ears but always my thighs. I am very fit working 10 hour days so put it down to poor circulation rather than lack of exercise. Thank you for this site as now I dont feel alnoe and have some ideas to try, though ultimately I think working indoors in the warm would be a cure!!!

Name: Paula
Location: Manchester
Comment: I have just started with chilblains on one foot. I was woken one night with a throbbing pain in my big toe. No matter which way I put my foot, this pain remained. As luck happens I was seeing my Chiropodist the next day as she was dressing a Ulcer on the bottom of my foot. She told me straight away that this was chilblains. She advised me to get some cream and massage in to my toe. The funny thing is… I forgot to get some cream and haven’t suffered any pain since. However, I’ve still got the redness and swelling but… no pain. Is this normal? If the pain comes back then I will try some of the advice on this site. Thank you all.

Name: abby
Location: uk
Comment: i have them in my toes at the moment and they are so sore. i think most of the pain is coming from the toes pressing against the other toes so i am gonna try n put cotton wool inbetween my toes n c if this helps!!

Name: Marcie
Location: upstate NY USA
Comment: I moved from balmy Florida back to NY a few years ago (I’m 53) and have noticed that the numbness and pain in my feet is definitely worse during the winter. Thanks for taking the time to put up this website.

Name: Paula
Location: Canada
Comment: A lot of the symptoms here sound very much like erythromelalgia, which is what I have. This ia a circulatory problem. The soles and toes of my feet become red, hot and itchy/buzzing, and sometimes swollen. This happens especially when I go to bed so getting any sleep has become very difficult. I am still trying out treatments, through a dermatologist, so cannot comment on what works. Please look carefully at your symptoms and look up erythromelalgia on the net.

Name: Lee
Location: Essex
Comment: Hi can i strongly advise AGAINST wearing cotton socks as a base layer under wool, i sell expedition equiptment to folk undertaking treks in extremes i’e cold. if you need to wick moisture away from your feet cotton will not do this it’s a natural fibre and will hold onto the moisture as long as it can. if it is cold this moisture will freeze or make at least make your feet colder. lick your finger and hold it up to the blowing wind you will see my point. Trust me though i am NOT A DOCTOR we have a rather extreme phrase we use it cotton kills it’s the main reason people get hypothermia the cold water from swear freezing against the skin. If wicking away sweat, or keeping your feet warm will help your condition by wickable thermal liners , and the same for the outer sock

Name: Sheila
Location: Michigan, USA
Comment: I have Renaud’s & I believe that thia is related to my chillblains (fingers) It started 2-3 years ago. In addition to being sensitive and painful, my fingers itch something awful, especially at night. I did get some telief from cortesone anti-itch cream.

Name: Alice
Location: Ken, UK
Comment: Ouch! my toes hurt so much! I don’t think I have a toe that is not throbbing, and I have not even subjected them to that much cold! I wear woollen socks, and comfy shoes and frequently exercise. I am becoming desperate as they are getting worse and I am running out of shoes I can comfortably walk in besides wellies-need help! but I am not quite prepared to pee on them as one comment suggested for treatment. I am also too embarrassed to go to my GP.

Name: Sally
Location: MK
Comment: I have also suffered from chilblains most of my life, have just tried Hydrocortisone, and it works in reducing the amount of time the chilblain is there, down to a day of discmfort rather than a week!

Name: kayleigh wilson
Location: glasgow
Comment: I am 25 yers old and have suffered chillblains for as long as I can remember. They may have started when I was younger and out playing in the snow as I recall having soaking wet, freezing cold feet which I would warm on the heater. My grandfather said that walking briefly in the snow barefoot was the best thing for them which I have tried but it’s only a short relief and usually makes them worse. Anyway, I have them at the moment due to the extreme weather conditions and I would say they are the worst I’ve ever had them! I get them on my toes, mainly my small toe, and on my fingers. Keeping them warm and dry is best! Somewhere on line suggedted putting cotton wool between toes to increase circulation. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds feasible. So glad this website exists. Thankfully I’m not alone!

Name: Christopher
Location: Stoke
Comment: I am 17, physicly active and lead a usual life, over the christmas period i spent 4 days going out christmas shopping, i was out in the cold for atleast 3 hours a day and it only took 10mins for me to be bouncing on my feet waiting for the bus because my feet were so cold. After going home from my girlfriends my feet started to be itchy and dry, unusual to me as i do clean my feet regularly so it could not be a fungus infection. throbbing, itchy, swallen, red toes was is the most inoying thing and then i had it explaing that i had chillblains of my mother, now i feel i am not alone with you guys, i will be trying the moisturising bit soon, but swelling has gone down but itchy dry feet remain the same, Special thanks to the maker of this website and there advice. Thnaks

Name: Tancy Behl
Location: India
Comment: I have suffered from chilblains since a long long time but 4 years back I found solace (I would not say cure) in homeopathy (an Indian school of medicine). If i start my homepathy medicine doses 1 month before the onset of winters and increase the dose when the winters have set in – it really helps. My chilblains have reduced to a minimum although I have to take my medicines every year.

Name: Sophie
Location: Gloucestershire
Comment: Hi everyone, So sorry to hear of your suffering. I run my own business based on a NATURAL healthcare range. With products that really work forever. As i was doing some reasearch i came across this site. I pray nobody minds me communicating. I have testimonials from people who used to suffer terribly but now have no symptoms. I cannot guarantee my products will work but i have a 60 day money back guarantee – if it does not work, your full money back no questions asked. Got nothing to loose! Pls e mail me on or call me on 07880966196 if you would like my website to look at. (i am in 147 countries so even if you are abroad, do get in contact) Many thanks, and once again, i really hope you do not mind me communicating, i just like to help people. x

Name: linda
Location: belfast northern ireland
Comment: hi all, found all the messages very interesting i have suffered for years with some years worse than others. An old lady once told me to get a new born baby’s[the younger the baby the better] wet nappy and rub into the toes. I was so desperate one year that I did this and wasent bothered with chillblaines for about 10 years after that. this year we have had a very severe winter and my toes and even fingers are in pain. I am looking for a new babies nappy to try this old remedy again.

Name: cherry
Location: india
Comment: cChill blains started with me when i was 12. Since then i have been over the years trying differnt remedies. creams make my swollen fungers itch more, no matter how medicated they are, and heat application is the last thing to be done. Finally what suits me is maintaing a not soo warm temperature bcz when that happen s the itching starts again and once it starts its tough to control from scratching to get relief which hurts further.To stop the itching early i try to cool the temperature of the fingers gradually and it really helps.

Name: Virginia
Location: USA
Comment: Hello, What is the difference between mild frostbite and chillblains? I was diagnosed with mild frostbite of toes by dr yesterday, and am being more careful. But my mom, formerly from Liverpool, thinks I may have chillblains. I was inside doing paperwork several days/nights, with heat set at 50F, and a space heater, in my sweatshirt/pants with fairly thick socks, upstairs on carpet, but often downstairs on a very cold tile floor on a concrete slab, sometimes shivering, other times comfortable. My toes appear and feel frostbitten. I did have one day I had intense itching of both feet, no apparent cause, doc said that was related. I also one day, sitting near the space heater (comfortable but not sweating), had a sudden raised itchy red rash along my arms and chest that went away after agentle bath, desitin ointment, and a night’s sleep. I don’t know if I have frostbite or chillblains, and what the difference is; is it one of severity only? My toes are sore, red, swollen, with tiny white and purple spots, hurts to press them to ground when I walk, but healing; not itchy. One person who wrote above said their skin went blackened (sorry) which sounds like frostbite. Thanks.

Name: Jill
Location: Bath
Comment: silver socks and gloves – i have used and they do seem to help – can buy on line or mail order:

Name: Mary
Location: Ohio
Comment: I had what you are all describing years ago. It was winter time and my toes and fingers became red and inflamed. They were also swollen and had little bumps. They itched so bad and hurt so bad I couldnt stand it. I didnt know what it was and neither did my parents. The pain and itching got so severe I couldnt sleep. I finally went to the doctor and he didnt really know what was wrong. The only thing he could think of it being was called Raynaud’s sydrome….which obviously isnt what it was. Although he was wrong at what he called it, he was right in giving me the right medicine. He prescribed me Nifedipine and I took it. It worked wonders. It was a bottle of 30 with no refils, but I didnt need one. Since then I occasionally still get a minor case on my fingers during the winter months, but I havent been wearing gloves like I should. I hope this helps someone. Try getting a prescription for Nifedipine, it helped me.

Name: Sarah
Location: Netherlands
Comment: I went to my doctor two years ago with these for the first time (aged 24). She didn’t even know what they were and I had to phone a Dutch friend to ask what the Dutch word for them might be. The doctor had still never heard of them or seen them before but looked them up in her medical dictionary. I got a hormone cream at that point. They are now (despite my best efforts) back and considerably worse than last year and the year before with every toe bar two effected (I don’t get them on my hands). She has now prescribed medication for people with high blood pressure. I find this slightly worrying being a young, relatively healthy 26 year old and she topped that off by saying if it worked we’d have to find some way of weaning me off them in the future because it wasn’t good to be taking such things every day. I therefore haven’t been able to bring myself to take them and am instead just staring at my poor angry looking toes. I do wonder whether anyone else has had a sudden on-set of symptoms in their mid-twenties. I was probably fitter when this started than I’d ever been before.

Name: mary
Location: ohio
Comment: Try sassafras tea because it thins your blood. A more simple method. No Dr. prescription. The main issue with what we have is circulation. If our blood is circulating properly, it would make our symtoms much more tolerable. I know blood pressure medicine helps, but anything that thins your blood will help. Try Sassafras tea.

Name: nikki
Location: somerset
Comment: I too work outside with horses so am quite fit and active and have awful chillblains on my outer thighs despite thermals, over trousers, waterproofs etc. I got them for the first time the year before last with the extreme winter but I do also have Reynauds Syndrome which again is a circulation issue. It’s so uncomfortable! The first time they came up I thought I had ringworm!

Name: Suzy
Location: Leeds
Comment: Thank you very much for this wonderfully informing website. I have been having real problems for the past 6 – 12 months with itchy ankles which seem swollen when cold. Sometimes, I feel as though I could really rip at them although from reading the above and your comments, I suspect that’s probably not the best thing to do. I will definitely try some of the suggested remedies. Many thanks

Name: nicky
Location: newcastle england
Comment: Hi, Ive suffered with chillblains since last year but i find that my feet get better when I soak them in ice cold water? it’s always the same toes and flare up when my feet are hot not cold? ,maybe ive been reading the signs wrong. I used aloe vera initailly as was advised to treat it as sunburn, it did help but only if you apply it sparingly. the doctor reccommended tablets that thin the blood, i prefer natural remedies however but im in an awful amount of pain. i cant walk on my foot. because my toes are so swollen it seems to keep provoking it. bandages dont help me. i guess its just one of those things that is individual to the person. Great site for tips though, ill definately make sure i moisturise more, ive never sufferd with sweaty feet so it being linked to being cold makes more sense. thank you 🙂 x

Name: Nancy
Location: Upstate NY
Comment: Mine started last year just on one toe. Well, this year they are on all my toes life is not so happy. 🙁 I do find that a Itch Relief spray from Swan (I get it at Dollar General) does wonders to stop the pain and itch for hours. Tea tree oil seems to help get some blood moving. It really helps to keep your toes separated. I use the round cotton pads (for removing makeup and such) folded in half between my toes. Looking for a pair of toe socks now. I am moving south in a few weeks and hope to never have to deal with chilblains again!

Name: Nancy
Location: Upstate NY
Comment: I would like to add to my above comment…Aspirin! I took 2 every 6 hours for two days and the relief was immense! Between the aspirin and the spray I mentioned above, I was able to put in a 13 hour work day on my feet. They are still red and bumpy but do not hurt or itch like they did. I also put a pillow at the foot of the bed under the covers to keep the pressure of all the covers off my toes. What a difference.

Name: Louise
Location: Maryland
Comment: I’ve been trying to figure out what I have on my big toe and middle toe. The old word, Chilblains came to me, one day, after weeks of searing pain, as the lump swelled the big toe and walking was torture. I read this and after two days of peeing on it, with the first morning catch in a basin, letting it dry on a paper towel, on the toes, the way you described, here, wouldn’t you know, things are looking up. The swelling is down, it turned bright red, with five minutes of pea soak, then let air dry, apply coconut oil in the morn and at night. Now there’s hope. Still red and bumpy, but much less pain and now progress toward normal toes and my shoes, not just cushioned house slippers, with extra inner souls. I was so sick of that. Thanks!

Name: Dee
Location: Wales
Comment: After years of suffering, my partner told me to urinate on my feet. I will honestly tell you that it worked. I haven’t had any on my feet for the past 6yrs. I do occasionally have them on my ears, and in really cold weather, on my hands, but I would urge anyone who suffered like I did to do it !!

Name: Laura
Location: Canada
Comment: I’ve had chilblains for over 30 years and don’t believe there’s any effective treatment…just preventative measures. Interesting that nobody has mentioned that experiencing high levels of stress triggers the sores, which I have noticed.

Name: ari
Location: south africa
Comment: hi , great website ,thanks , my doctor recommended thrombophobjel , it does help a bit but nothing cures them except summer

Name: Jemma
Location: Great Britain
Comment: When I go in my pool its lovely and warm but when I get out and walk down the garden, my feet get very cold. When I then went into my house to have a bath I’ll put my foot in and it is unbearably hot, and in the night my feet are very itchy, also a bit in the next day, it affects me at school aswell when I where trainers in the sun and when I where trainer socks with a skirt, they seem to sweat lots and itch. I am only 12.ITS PAINFUL. I want it to go away.

Name: Josh
Location: New Zealand
Comment: I’ve had chilblains for many of the past winters and found that cornstarch works really well to relieve the itch. Just put it on the toes and keep the feet at a constant temperature. Hope this helps!

Name: ari
Location: south africa
Comment: i found a cure – i have chillblains in my hands – my knuckles used to get swollen when they get warm , i couldnt even knock on doors , also very itchy when cold , i used the recipe below for 1 week and THEY ARE GONE : mix 1 tspoon mustard powder with 250ml turpentine , leave standing for 24 hrs and shake 3 or 4 times over the 24 hrs , strain through muslin cloth , apply 3 times per day with cottonwool , rub well in not for use on broken skin

Name: Samantha
Location: Melbourne
Comment: Hi, I’m 22 and suffer from chillblains since I can remember. Having steel cap boots in cold weather and smoking doesnt help. However I have found that if i try to keep my feat at a moderate same temperature over a few day- you will have to take a few days of work if you can to do this. never put your feat into something hot as it agravates the swelling. same with something really cold, it relievs the burning but will bring at back twice as bad. Moisturise your hands or feet atleast 3 times a day, regular massages if its to painfull to walk, as walking would be better. Ive also noticed caffine free diet helps over the course of the treatment for some reason, and drinking plenty of water with vitamin D supliments and b12. again im not sure how this works but it help me. So take a few day off work if you can, keep the moisturiseing up, no caffine, vitamin b12 and d, same temp if possible. However I have not been able to come up with something that stops the reoccurence as of yet, apart from taking good care of your hands and feet.

Name: Huia
Location: New Zealand
Comment: Hi I’m 40yrs and I Suffer with chillblains on my toes. I Have just tried Deep Heat Cream on them what a relief!! I can move my toes and the swelling has gone down in just a few mins.Thankyou to the person who recommended this as a solution to help stimulate the blood flow,Its really works Try it.

Name: Harry Mann
Location: Herts, UK
Comment: Yes, Rutin would be good (buckwheat, buckwheat honey) and other hesperidins and bioflavpnoids for micro-ciculation… so see the Itlain website for Meliven mentioned above I have has the big toe throb stype for a few winters now, extending to index and other toes and other foot at times. Yes, doctors are almost a waste of sapcetime these days… dreadful pill pushers and not much else! This year have a good as avoided it so far (Christmas now). NO smoking, less red wine (white only and less), but mainly cold-bathing down to 15C and below See Thermo-Regulatory-Hydrotherapy TRHT, Kakkar, good for ME/CFS) This may seem strange, chillig the whole body but (but progressively/managed) It boosts white blood cells amongst other effects, reduces white fat and builds some brown(adipose) fat for cold resistance. Anyway, regardless, I’m pretty sure that if you just sit with legs in cold water, progressively down from 18C at 5mins to say 15c for 20 mins, you might be amazed that your circulation improves enough to minimise or elimnate chilblains. The Sitz won’t harm, but DOI read up fully before trying TRHT (originally publicised in the European Newspaper circa 1990). One theory is that the cold stimulates the (high density of) nerve endings on the soles of the feet.. which is why you start by standing 2 ~3 minutes before sitting in the cold bath… it also triggers the hypothalamus (thermometer). This is equivalaent to the lovely healthy feeling of sploshing along in bare-feet at the edge of the surf.. (sun, sea and sand). Drying down afterwards is half the trick, massage with a good clean, dry, cotton towel. If whole body immersing (TRHT’ing) then warm drink and a carb meal (e.g.muesli/porridge/hot water) and allow an hour to warm up. 3 to 5 times a week. If exercising, then do this after, not before, will also reduce muscle tissue inflammation (a la athlete limb icing, a rather extreme form) which doesn’t condition the ‘whole’ body like TRHT does. That’s it try it if you have the time and inclination… there are many benefits – you won’t catch a cold or get flu, that’s for sure, never had when TRHT’ing. (PS. A cold shower is NOT the same thing – horrible compared to sitting in a cold bath, or even lying in one) OH and nicotinia (homeopathic remedy) and that Antistax sound good recomendations too

Name: Leon
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Name: Leon
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Comment: Try asprin. I’ve been on it for 10 years. One in the morning and one at night. I also went to Size Wide shoes and don’t tie them tight. Moisturizing with Vicks works well for Me.I know it’s for colds, but it works.I rub it on then cover with socks and go to bed .The asprin keeps my blood thinned out and helps circulation.

Name: Julie
Location: UK
Comment: Has anyone ever tried mustard? I hear it works wonders, and I’ve tried loads of creams and stuff but nothing is stopping the burning/ itching!

Name: Leigh
Location: Leeds
Comment: I suffer from raynaurds and im always getting them, theyre really bad at the mo, Been putting sudocrem on and just bought some other cream called Balmosa. Ive also found they get worse in the warmth but apparently u shouldnt keep ur hands cool coz of them or they take longer to get better which is what I was doing before coz I couldnt bare the itching but sudocrem does help just cake loads on x

Name: Leigh
Location: Leeds
Comment: I suffer from raynaurds and im always getting them, theyre really bad at the mo, Been putting sudocrem on and just bought some other cream called Balmosa. Ive also found they get worse in the warmth but apparently u shouldnt keep ur hands cool coz of them or they take longer to get better which is what I was doing before coz I couldnt bare the itching but sudocrem does help just cake loads on x

Name: Lisa
Location: Hants
Comment: I have never suffered before but thanks to all that wrote on this page – I now know I have it on my toe – will try the creams and other useful advice – Thanks Roll On the Summer!!!

Name: Chris
Location: Australia
Comment: Thank you very much for this site. I know that, like myself. many people suffer the pain of chilblains. In my case, I have suffered them for years and tried many things to relieve the pain and itching, even desperate enough to urinate on my toes. It doesnt work. A few years ago for some reason or other, I took some Calcium tablets…..and noticed an almost immediate improvment in the pain and itchiness. Every winter now….as soon as I feel a chilblain coming on….I take calcium. (in any form) If needed I also use a chilblain cream. My winter months are much more comfortable now. Hope this helps someone.

Name: jenny
Location: south wales
Comment: My grandmother suffered with chilblains and I remember her rubbing Vick on her toes as it was the only thing that worked!!

Name: Anne-Marie
Location: Hampshire
Comment: I suffer with bad circulation, my feet are always freezing cold and my hands are not any better. Gloves dont make my hands warm and my feet are cold whatever the weather or type of sock. Ive always suffered from chillblains on my feet, in the beginning it was only on a couple of toes. Then aged 28 years old I got 2 dvt’s without warning in my right leg. Five years on I wear a compression sock but since the clots I now get chillblains on every toe. They are itchy, sore and I want to chop every toe off!!. I tried warming them up but strangely enough they are slightly better when cold. My friend told me about rubbing black pepper oil into the toes which does warm them up but still they remain the itch. Have your feet up whenever possible. The dr told me I dont have raynaurds which i suppose is good news but i still have no answers to the clots or my chillblains… Good to read im not alone.

Name: raman rebuar
Location: london
Comment: great information thanks alot. I started to suffer from these nearly 3 years ago (i am 18), and because of them i have been dreading winter ever since. I have really bad circulation, my hands are constantly pale and ice cold. One thing i noticed it that the condition worsens when i sweat. When i ever i start to sweat i tend to feel a slight itch on my toes and by then its too late. I hate this stupid disorder, recently my skin also started to blister and split, dont get me started on the amount of sleepless nights duo to irritation and the itch. i honestly hope some sort of a cure or instant relief if found quickly because i dont know how long i can put up with this

Name: Karen
Location: UK
Comment: I’ve suffered from chillblains since childhood and I am now 40. Great information however I wish there was some magic cure especially as last year one of the chillblains split. Unfortunately two cold days means they’ve started again and it’s going to be a long winter. Like Anne-Marie above reassuring to know I am not alone.

Name: Steph
Location: Australia
Comment: I’m not sure if what I’m suffering from is Chillblains or not because my feet don’t swell, they just get very red and itch like crazy when they get hot. I’ve always had cold feet so this was weird. Doctor doesn’t know what it is. It started after a trip to Bali. I have to put a cold bowl of water next to my bed to cool down my feet at times at night or I can’t sleep. My Dad says he suffered from Chillblains and thinks that this is what it is. He says you need to put your feet in your own urine – I know, sounds yucky. He swears by it. It should be mid stream urine and still warm. I’m certainly going to give it a go next time my feet flare up. I can’t stand it anymore.

Name: Jeremy Sellars
Location: Malvern, UK
Comment: Am amazed that on this site no one at all (as far as I can see – I have not read every single comment) mentions diet as a possible cause, or exacerbating factor, in the development of chilblains! I have noticed that cold foods and drinks, sweets, sugar, drugs (medical and recreational), spices, stimulants, alcohol and so on definitely exacerbate if not exactly cause the condition (which in fact may have many causes). The fact that it seems to be worse at night (a ‘cold, or ‘yin’ time in oriental medicine) confirms this.Please experiment.

Name: Andrea
Location: Essex
Comment: I have suffered with chilblains in toes & fingers from childhood. Every winter and pretty much every day. I am now 40 and have only over the last few years had any relief. A fellow sufferer recommended Ginkgo Biloba one tablet a day. I usually start taking them around late September. The first year I had very little problems. I have tried not taking them and was back to square one. I dont know why I suffer from them. My mother has always had them and we both believe its bad circulation. Hope this post helps.

Name: Karen
Location: NC USA
Comment: Hateful things. Also suffered from them since childhood,sometimes all is takes is a toe stubbing in the winter and that will set them off. Mum has them too. I’ve tried many many different things but it seems like they just have to run their course.

Name: Maureen
Location: Canada
Comment: Very informative and helpful. Thank you

Name: Catherine
Location: Botswana
Comment: I’m a 23 year old female who has suffered from chilblains since childhood. When I schooled in Cape Town, South Africa however, they did not appear at all. Being back in Botswana having chilblains is almost impossible to control. During winter the morning and evenings are cool and the afternoons are as hot as a summer day. So you can imagine how I suffer. In any case I am trying to moisturise and keep warm, I hope it helps. Thank you for this website 🙂

Name: Kevin Alderson
Location: UK
Comment: Thank you very much to the founder of this site and it’s contributors. It has been very instructive. I’m a 50 year old male and have been suffering with chillblains for a couple of years now, though I did not realise what they were until recently. I thought it was an allergic reaction to a foam backing on the in-sole of my shoes, which has persisted over time. My toes really came out badly this winter, all red, swollen and itchy until I discovered the cause. I want to suggest to your readers a treatment that I discovered just by chance. Although not a cure, it reduced the both the itching and swelling marvellously. I used a herbal treatment called ‘Hypericum and Caledula Ointment’. The tube I used is produced by Weleda (UK), but other companies may also make it. On the tube it says ‘For painful cuts and minor wounds’ but I found it worked very well whether the skin was cut or not. Hope this helps someone.

Name: Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Location: 1989
Comment: Thanks for the information, this is what I created the World Wide Web for.

Name: Susan
Location: North Caorlina
Comment: I am 55 and have had chillblains for 30 years. I also made the mistake of warming my cold feet too quickly and that started the chilblains. Sometimes I try anti-perspirant spray on my feet and that seems to help. Once I get them though I have them until spring. I appreciate this site and all the suggestions.

Name: test
Location: test
Comment: test

Name: marilyn
Location: United States
Comment: As a child my sister had a painful swelling in her fingers after sledding. Our old family doctor diagnosed chillblains. He said she had warmed her fingers too quickly and recommended she put her hands into cold water to lower the pain and only slowly increase the temperature. Years later I was working in below zero (F) temperatures standing on marble. Despite winter boots, my feet had become numb with cold. Stupidly, I put them under warm running water and a pain hit that made me want to scream. I remembered my sister’s attack, changed to ice cold running water on my feet and it slowly stopped the pain but it took a long long time. I used to enjoy Slurpees, a drink of slushy ice. If you drink it too fast you can get a ‘brain freeze’. a sudden hard pain in the back upper mouth and brain. When I had brain freeze at the convenience store, the salesgirl told me to hurry up and drink more of ice to stop the pain. It worked. Brain freeze is related to sudden change in blood flow. I have experienced angina, and angina feels a lot like brain freeze Athletes drink beet juice which contains natural nitrates to increase performance. Nitrates open the blood vessels. Since chillblain areas are clamped down due to cold, I am not sure if beet juice would help, or would it cause a reaction like brain freeze where the pain comes from an artery in the brain opening too much, in response to the freeze in the throat? But putting urine on the outside of the body might deliver some nitrates right to the affected areas through the skin. Just a thought I had frostbite a couple years ago. Two fingers had become blue on the pads due to the severity. The sides of the fingers were normal pink. I tried ginger tea, rose hip tea to no avail. After a week of blue fingers, I tried sage tea. As I sipped the tea, I could literally see some of the blue edge of my finer pads turn pinkish. It didn’t go away in one day, but every day I improved and it was much better in a week – although it took a year to feel normal. Sage tea is very powerfulI. It is not a tea to have every day. You should look up the side effects before trying it. It can interfere with many medications and affect the liver. But I ould use it again in a heartbeat This is a very good site and I appreciate all the information shared.

6 Replies to “Your Comments”

  1. Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with Raynauds Syndrome after going for a long walk when I was 21. The temperature dropped sharply and an icy North Sea wind begun to blow. Within a very short time I could not feel my feet. When I eventually got indoors the sharp contrast In temperature made my feet swell as the blood came rushing back, it hurt so much I cried. The next day I was covered in agonisingly painful chilblains on each and every toe. This was on the 24th October 1975 and they didn’t heal until May the following year. I’m now 62 and have suffered every winter but I’ve not had such a bad Raynauds attack since. I now have acupuncture and it helps the chilblains heal quicker. I’ve tried everything re allopathic and complimentary medicine. There is no cure.
    I too use silver socks, I get toe socks from a company called Toe Toe. They are very helpful if you explain you have Raynauds (the major cause of chilblains) The socks are brilliant as separating the toes out not only keeps them warmer and drier ( toes rubbing together can create moisture) but they also have socks with material that keeps the feet dry. They have half socks too. Used for people who wear sling back shoes or clogs etc. I use them as a first layer (they have cotton and cotton/silk mix). I then use the thermal no moisture socks mentioned above. Next layer is silver socks from Raynauds uk website. Then Ugg boots and for work, I have classier fur lined boots from Italy which they sell in St. John’s Wood at a shop called Regal Shoes. They are not cheap but have been a saviour as I can wear them on smart occasions. They are so well made that mine have lasted near on 10 years.
    I recommend referral to the Royal Free Raynauds clinic. It’s the only hospital in the country that has such a clinic. Some people find that medication does help. My blood pressure is too low so it doesn’t work for me. They also keep an eye in case you could develop secondary Raynauds which is more serious. I have a blue badge due to the severity of my condition. They write to your local authority if you do decide to apply for one. This more than anything has saved me from extreme pain. Anything below 18 degrees can set off an attack so the summers in this country often don’t offer respite.
    The condition can be hereditary. My daughter has it, thankfully not as severely, on her hands. She too developed it after exposure aged 21 like myself. My father had it on his feet and also got it at the same age. He lived in a warmer climate so is not as disabled by it.
    Unlike my daughters or my fathers I have the overheated under heated type. So I’ve been known to walk on snow just to cool off bulbous burning toes!! It really is impossible to explain to people😟.

  2. What helped me were:
    1) warm, roomy, wool socks. 2) insulated trekking boots laced snugly at the ankle only, to keep toes from sliding into contact with the end of the shoe. 3) battery powered ski boot heaters keep me on the mountain at minus 20 degree Celsius. Expensive but 100% preventative.
    Electrically heated socks should be equivalent but are very pricey.

  3. The past 3 years, winter months only, I started getting red, itchy bumps on my toes. The first winter, it was so bad, spreading toe to toe on one foot, then the other – I could hardly walk! My toes turned blue and black. My doctor called it a fungus (and stress). Nothing he prescribed worked. I began experimenting: hydrogen peroxide, betadyne, tea tree oil, anti-fungal sprays, salt water soaks, sunshine, keeping my feet powdery dry, avoiding extreme temperatures, even changed my diet. I tried anything and everything that first year! After several painful months, warmer weather approached and it seemed to clear up as mysteriously as it started. The next winter, it started (again on the 2nd toe) and rapidly spread to the 3rd toe. Finally, I read somewhere to use zinc oxide. I bought over-the-counter maximum strength zinc oxide diaper rash paste. After my morning shower, I dried my feet thoroughly, then coated my toes with the paste. ZINC OXIDE WORKED!!! No more itching, burning, redness and spreading from toe to toe! I used the diaper cream daily and changed my socks and/or shoes twice a day. This year – it started again – first as a small bump on the 2nd toe and then on to the next toe. Immediately, back to the diaper rash paste and all’s well. Chilblains or mystery fungus – I don’t know what it is but the diaper rash meds have really worked for me.

  4. To Rachel from Scotland whose grandad told her it was a calcium deficiency. Some 60 yeats ago I suffered dreadfully from chillblains.Eventually I was taken to the doctor who put me on a long course of calcium tablets. The chillblains rapidly disappeared snd what is more never returned.In Scotland in the fifties chill blains were very common

  5. Not a cure but this helps me:
    – wear thick wool insoles in my shoes; the white furry type.
    – wear socks with toes (they look like foot gloves). I feel better when my toes can’t directly rub against each other. They’re great to wear at home even if a bit awkward at first.
    – when my feet are frozen, I take a foot bath in cold water. The cold water feels warm when my feet are very cold. I then add warm water very slowly until it reaches body temperature.

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