chilblain

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chilblain

 [chil´blān]
one of the mildest forms of cold injury, characterized by recurrent localized itching, swelling, painful erythema, and sometimes blistering and ulceration upon exposure to cold and dampness; it occurs chiefly on the fingers, toes, ears, and face, but may involve other areas of the body. (This condition should not be confused with frostbite, another type of skin damage caused by exposure to cold.) The basic cause of chilblain is sensitivity to cold, sometimes due to circulatory disturbances that can be partially corrected by exercise and proper diet; severe cases require medical attention. Extreme heat or cold applications should not be applied directly to chilblains. Called also pernio.

chil·blain

(chil'blān), Avoid the misspelling chillblain.
Erythema, itching, and burning, especially of the dorsa of the fingers and toes, and of the heels, nose, and ears caused by vascular constriction on exposure to extreme cold (usually associated with high humidity); lesions can be single or multiple, and can become blistered and ulcerated.
[chill + A.S. blegen, a blain]

chilblain

/chil·blain/ (chil´blān) a recurrent localized itching, swelling, and painful erythema of the fingers, toes, or ears, caused by mild frostbite and dampness. Called also chilblains .

chilblain

(chĭl′blān′)
n.
An inflammation followed by itchy irritation on the hands, feet, or ears, resulting from exposure to moist cold.

chil′blained′ adj.

chilblain

[chil′blān]
Etymology: AS, cele, cold, bleyn, blister
redness and swelling of the skin caused by excessive exposure to cold. Burning, itching, blistering, and ulceration that are similar to those characteristic of a thermal burn may occur. Treatment includes protection against cold and injury, gentle warming, and avoidance of tobacco. Also called pernio. Compare frostbite.
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Chilblain
A dermatopathy due to cold, damp climates, i.e., in the UK; presumed due to prolonged arteriolar constriction
At risk groups Infants, elderly, alcoholics
Management Proper clothing, smoking cessation, corticosteroids

chil·blain

(chil'blān)
Erythema, itching, and burning, especially of the dorsa of the fingers and toes, and of the heels, nose, and ears caused by vascular constriction on exposure to extreme cold (usually associated with high humidity); lesions can be single or multiple, and can become blistered and ulcerated.
Synonym(s): erythema pernio.
[chill + A.S. blegen, a blain]

chilblain

Raised, red, round itchy swelling of the skin of the fingers and toes occurring in cold weather. This and other related disorders, are included in the term ‘perniosis’.

chilblain

; perniosis cold-induced skin lesion characterized by marked inflammation, affecting peripheral tissues (fingers, toes, heel, lower legs, nose, tips of ears) especially in areas of skin exposed to cold draughts, in susceptible people; presents in four phases (Table 1); treatment is tailored to the phase of presentation; patients at risk of chilblain are advised to keep feet and legs warm (wear soft, multilayered leg clothing, roomy shoes with thermal insoles), avoid draughts and never immerse cold feet in hot water; systemic beta-blockers should be avoided, especially in winter
Table 1: Characteristic stages and treatments of chilblain
Presentation (phase) of chillingTreatment
Initial cold phase
Affected areas of skin are very cold, pale and cyanosedTopical application of rubefacients, e.g. iodine or methyl salicylate ointments
Acute inflammatory chilblains
Affected areas become acutely inflamed, tender, itchy and burning with associated local oedema or blistering (i.e. hyperaemic)Topical application of cooling lotions, e.g. hamamelis water, Burow's solution
Chronic inflammatory chilblains
Affected areas show chronic inflammationTopical application of rubefacients, e.g. weak iodine, methyl salicylate ointments
Gentle soft-tissue massage (see iodine)
Broken chilblains; ulcerative chilblains
The skin overlying the area of chilling undergoes breakdown as the result of the severity of the initially chilling and subsequent acute inflammatory response; the chilled areas weep serous fluid and are at risk of infectionTopical applications of antiseptic rubefacient medicaments, e.g. weak iodine or Betadine solution
Regular dressings and review until areas healed