Chilblains develop when the tiny blood vessels under the skin constrict under cold conditions reducing the flow of blood until the area warms up again and causes some leakage of fluid into the surrounding tissue. They are caused by the skin’s abnormal reaction to cold but not everyone develops them as this depends to a large extent on the efficiency of your circulation. People with poor circulation and other health problems involving their blood vessels are likely to be more prone to developing chilblains. In addition, damp or draughty conditions, dietary factors and hormonal imbalance can also be contributory factors. It is thought that rapid temperature changes from cold to hot can also be a cause. If the skin is chilled and is then followed by too rapid warming next to a fire or through using a hot water bottle, chilblains may result.
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