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Chilblains describes a general skin condition in which the skin is dry, itchy and may crack. It's often caused by sensitivity to the cold, poor circulation or malnutrition. This is why chilblains usually vanish entirely in the summer. Without treatment, the condition can advance until it's difficult to engage in normal activities. The skin turns red and stiff, at which point professional treatment is necessary. Chilblains can be treated at home, and lifestyle changes are sometimes required to overcome the condition.
Adjust your diet
When chilblains are due to a poor diet, adjusting what you eat may help overcome it. Developing the condition may indicate a deficiency of calcium and silica. You should focus on eating green vegetables, specifically leafy spinach. Many grains and nuts are very good as well. These include almonds, sesame seeds, millet and oats. You may also wish to consider foods that will add fatty acids, vitamin K and vitamin E to your diet. These will help the condition of your skin.
The main cause of chilblains is often poor peripheral circulation. Cardiovascular exercise is often recommended to strengthen the heart and increase blood flow so that extremities such as fingers and toes will be properly supplied. Exercising also increases the body's core temperature, which helps to reduce symptoms.
Herbal tonics may be taken to strengthen the heart and circulation. Vitalising herbs such as ginger and cayenne can increase circulation. Hawthorn berry, when made into a tincture, has also been shown to be very effective in increasing circulation to the extremities. You can also apply topical applications to unbroken chilblains that may reduce pain and redness. The essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary and cayenne are excellent for this method. Nettle and garlic juice are also effective.
Never apply any oil or juice to skin that is cracked or raw as it will irritate the skin, causing further inflammation and pain.
Cut bad habits
Habits such as smoking and drinking are known to cause poor circulation, which may lead to chilblains. Cutting these habits will have several positive impacts on your health, and home remedies you apply will then be more effective.
Keep toes & fingers warm
Chilblains often vanish in the summer for most people as they are induced by cold weather. Sudden temperature changes can also trigger it, so you should avoid getting your extremities cold and then warming them up again repeatedly, such as near a fireplace. Keeping your toes and fingers warm with good socks and gloves is a great way to reduce the symptoms.
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