Sore, red toes in winter? Chilblains

We are starting to experience some real cold weather and a result we are starting to see an increase in numbers of sore red toes – Chiblains (or perno or perniosis)

Chilblains are areas of red, swollen, itchy skin that occur as a reaction to the cold. They occur as an inflammatory reaction of small blood vessels due to the exposure of cold temperatures – hence why the increased presentation in winter!

Chilblains most commonly affect the periphery regions of the body including toes, fingers, ears and nose. Chilblains most commonly affect children, woman and the elderly. We often see chilblains with those who have a systemic pathology (lupus), peripheral vascular disease, smokers, underweight or smaller people and some medications that cause blood vessels to constrict to treat other medical conditions (such as beta blockers). Chilblains are uncomfortable but rarely cause any permanent damage.

Primarily the treatment of chilblains aims to reduce the inflammatory response your body has to the cold. Typically this will mean keeping your feet/toes warm either by warm thick socks, footwear and avoiding being barefoot. Topical creams  and ointments may also used which allow for the vasodilation of the blood vessels in your toes – i.e. getting more blood to your toes! In some cases, chilblains can cause the skin to break causing blisters and small wounds and risk of infection. It is important to not scratch the skin as it can break easily and become infected and regularly check for wounds.


Call our Moorebank office on (02) 96016886 to arrange an appointment to help you with your Chilblains!

Sydney Foot clinic is servicing Sydney Foot Clinic services all surrounding areas including

  • Moorebank
  • Chipping Norton
  • Holsworthy
  • Liverpool
  • Milperra
  • Georges Fair
  • Hammondville
  •  Wattle Grove
  • Revesby
  • Condell Park
  • Lurnea
  • Cartwright
  • Miller
  • Mount Pritchard
  • Ashcroft
  • Casula
  • Prestons
  • Hoxton Park
  • Edmenson Park

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