Chilblains (also known as pernio) are small, itchy, painful areas of skin that can occur in cold weather. They are caused by exposure to temperatures below normal body temperature, which can cause small blood vessels in the skin to constrict and reduce the amount of blood flow.
Diagnosis of chilblains is generally made based on the patient’s symptoms and physical examination. The skin may appear red or purple, have an uneven texture, or have a burning or itching sensation.
Other conditions that may be considered in the differential diagnosis of chilblains include frostbite, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and erythromelalgia.
Treatment of chilblains typically involves avoiding cold temperatures and providing symptomatic relief. This may include topical medications such as corticosteroids, antihistamines, or capsaicin cream, or other treatments such as warm baths and moisturizing lotions.
The prognosis for chilblains is generally good. Most cases can be managed with symptomatic relief and prevention of further exposure to cold temperatures. However, in some cases, the condition may persist or recur, and may require more aggressive treatment.