Last updated: January 6, 2017

What Does Chilblains Mean?

Chilblains are small lumps that develop on the skin. These itchy, painful swellings are an abnormal skin response to cold temperatures. The blood vessels in these areas constrict when the skin is subjected to the cold, and when blood flow begins to increase and rewarming begins, it can lead to presentation of chilblains on the skins surface. Chilblains most often occur on the body’s extremities, such as the toes, fingers and earlobes.

Safeopedia Explains Chilblains

Approximately 10% of the population will experience chilblains at some point in their lives. People who work in environments where the temperature can vary between hot and cold are more likely to develop chilblains, as their body works harder to regulate its core temperature. When working in extreme cold, such as refrigerated storehouses, it is important to wear warm clothing, gloves and a warm hat. On average, chilblains usually subside after a week and do not cause permanent damage to the affected area.


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