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What is a good cream to treat chilblains?
Posted: Mar 18, 2023
Chilblains, also known as pernio, are a common condition that occurs due to the exposure of the skin to cold temperatures. It causes redness, itching, and swelling in the affected areas, such as the toes, fingers and occasionally the ears and nose. Chilblains are common during the winter months, but they can occur at any time of the year if there is some exposure to cold. There are various creams that you can use to alleviate the symptoms of chilblains and to prevent them from occurring. Some of the options of creams to treat chilblains include:
- Topical steroids - These creams are commonly used to reduce inflammation and itching. They are particularly helpful for those who experience severe itching with chilblains. They are generally not used in the milder cases. Topical steroids can also help reduce redness and swelling, but they should not be used for prolonged periods as they can thin the skin and cause other side effects.
- Calamine lotion - This lotion is another popular choice for treating chilblains. It contains zinc oxide, which has a soothing effect on the skin. Calamine lotion helps reduce itching and inflammation, and it can also help dry out any blisters that may have formed.
- Emollients - These creams are used to moisturize dry and cracked skin if there is a history of the skin being broken because of the chilblain. They can also help prevent chilblains from forming in the first place. Emollients contain ingredients such as urea and glycerin, which help hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. They are particularly helpful for those who have a history of dry skin.
- Capsaicin cream - This cream contains an active ingredient found in chili peppers called capsaicin. It has been shown to help reduce pain and itching associated with chilblains. Capsaicin cream works by depleting the nerve endings of a chemical called substance P, which is responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain.
- Antihistamine creams - These creams contain an antihistamine, which is a type of medication that helps reduce allergic reactions. They can be helpful for those who have an allergic reaction to the cold, which can exacerbate the symptoms of chilblains.
- Aloe vera gel - This gel is well-known for its soothing properties and can help reduce inflammation and itching. It can also help hydrate the skin and promote healing.
7. A commercially available product, Akileine Akilwinter Chilblain Cream is a popular cream that is recommended by a lot of podiatrists who treat a lot of chilblains.
There are various creams that you can use to alleviate the symptoms of chilblains. Topical steroids, calamine lotion, emollients, capsaicin cream, antihistamine creams, aloe vera gel and commercial brands are all effective options for treating chilblains. However, it's important to remember that prevention is key when it comes to chilblains. This means staying warm, avoiding exposure to cold temperatures, and wearing warm, protective clothing. If you are experiencing severe or persistent symptoms, it's important to seek medical advice from your healthcare provider.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.