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Ron Put

Chillblains (Pernio), anyone?

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Over the last couple of years, I've been getting chillbrains, itchy spots on my fingers and sometimes toes. From the Mayo Clinic site:

"Chilblains (CHILL-blayns) are the painful inflammation of small blood vessels in your skin that occur in response to repeated exposure to cold but not freezing air. Also known as pernio, chilblains can cause itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on your hands and feet.

Chilblains usually clear up within one to three weeks, especially if the weather gets warmer. You may have recurrences seasonally for years. Treatment involves protecting yourself from the cold and using lotions to ease the symptoms. Chilblains don't usually result in permanent injury. But the condition can lead to infection, which may cause severe damage if left untreated.

The best approach to chilblains is to avoid developing them by limiting your exposure to cold, dressing warmly and covering exposed skin."

As one of the causes is being underweight, I wonder if others here are experiencing this.  My BMI is generally between 18.5-19, so I guess I qualify.

I notice that I get these on my right hand, which I occasionally immerse in very cold water (to clean a filter), and also more seldom on my toes (I walk barefoot on stone floors that can get cold in winter). 
 

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I don't get those, but I do walk around barefoot. This means that sometimes the floor is very cold and uncomfortable, especially in winter (even though I live in Los Angeles, so it never gets freezing, but I also never heat my living space, ever, so...). To ameliorate that issue, in winter I wear socks - the best are the non-slip kind, which have little rubber dots on the bottom so you don't slip and slide on the floor. These are not very expensive and you can buy them on Amazon - search for "yoga socks". 

Sometimes when it's cold, the tips of my little fingers on my hands get slightly numb and discolored - usually it's one hand or the other, rarely both at the same time.

 

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4 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

I do walk around barefoot. This means that sometimes the floor is very cold and uncomfortable, especially in winter (even though I live in Los Angeles, so it never gets freezing, but I also never heat my living space, ever, so...). To ameliorate that issue, in winter I wear socks - the best are the non-slip kind, which have little rubber dots on the bottom so you don't slip and slide on the floor. These are not very expensive and you can buy them on Amazon

My wife buys an applicator that can be used to apply the dots to your favorite socks. 

I used to walk around indoors on socks all year including winter, but I got cracked heels that hurt like the dickens and often bled.  I now were slippers or even some cheap shoes indoors and never get the cracked heels.  It is the dry air that seems to be the problem and it can get quite dry indoors in winter if you do not have a humidifier.  Also, I had been going through my socks at a high rate before I added the additional foot protection.  Another thing that concerns me as I get older is the risk of falling.  Hard soled slippers or shoes are much more secure on my feet especially when I am playing "catch" with the dog; his idea of the sport is he gets a toy and I have to run after him to try to take it away.

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I used to get chilblains on my outer fingers and toes every winter for about 10 years while I had Raynaud's syndrome.  Last year I finally cleared up the Raynaud's and the chilblains.  There are numerous things I've done which might be relevant and I don't have a clear sense of how important each might be.  The last change I made before the problems abated was to add dietary GLA in the form of evening primrose and borage oil supplements and swapping in about 3 tablespoons daily of hemp hearts for some of the other nuts and seeds I was eating.  I did this after a blood test showed I had very low GLA and then I stumbled on this small study Evening Primrose Oil (Efamol) in the Treatment of Raynaud’s Phenomenon: A Double Blind Study.  Some other things I fixed which might be relevant:  I was pre-diabetic with many comorbidities of type 2 diabetes, had hypertension and high pulse, very elevated catecholamines especially norepinephrine, fatty liver, severe muscle wasting from SBMA with high bodyfat, poor sleep, severe lead poisoning, a periodontal infection and toenail fungus.

I've stopped the borage oil and the evening primrose oil supplements but still eat the hemp hearts and so far so good.  I'm taking my daily walks wearing sandals and despite some near freezing temps haven't yet had any episodes of Raynaud's or chilblains when I used to get them staying inside while wearing wool socks and gloves.  My hands and feet are still prone to getting chilled with cold exposure but it takes a lot more cold and instead of going blue, yellow or white they now go very red and warm back up on their own without much discomfort and so far no chilblains or skin damage.

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I've never had chillbains; but I used to get Raynaud's Syndrome on the outer digits of my fingers during winter.  Keeping my hands warm worked (and works) for me; also, keeping the fingers active.  Exercise is good for fingers, too.

  --  Saul

 

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So, it appears these are definitely cold-related.  I stopped changing the filter with my bare hands and all traces of chilblains disappeared. I guess blood vessels don't like being subjected to near-freezing temperatures and then to hot water :)

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