Chilblains Help Sheet

Chilblains are triggered by poor circulation and are characterised by red inflamed areas that affect the extremities. Chilblains can cause intense itching, swollen toes and sensitivity to heat and cold. Some unfortunate individuals suffer in both hands and feet. It is more common in cold weather, because the small blood vessels in the skin naturally constrict when it is cold. If you tend to suffer with chilblains every winter then you need to improve your circulation. In the long-term to prevent chilblains you need to make sure your circulation is as efficient as possible.

Vitamin B3 can be used for the following conditions:  

  • To treat high cholesterol (hyperlipidaemia)
  • To treat Vitamin B3 deficiency e.g. Pellagra – a vitamin B3 deficiency 
  • To decrease the severity and frequency of attacks of vertigo (dizziness) 
  • To decrease severity of chilblains

Chilblains happen when small blood vessels constrict in cold weather, causing impaired circulation, which leads to cold, itchy and inflamed fingers and toes.  Keep hands and feet warm and dry – but don’t wear tight-fitting shoes – and exercise daily to stimulate circulation.  

Important nutrients are: 

Vitamin E and B3, to enhance circulation 

Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids), to strengthen the blood vessel walls and reduce inflammation

Fish and fish oils. 

Eat plenty of fresh fruit (particularly berries and kiwi), colourful vegetables, avocados, nuts, seeds and their oils, and warming foods such as ginger, garlic, onion, pepper and spices. 

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