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First Aid & Emergencies

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Chilblains (Perniosis) - Topic Overview

Chilblains (perniosis, also known as pernio) is a reaction to cold, nonfreezing temperatures. It is seen most often in young people who have Raynaud's phenomenon and people who are exposed to damp, cold weather.

Symptoms develop 2 to 14 hours after exposure to cold and usually affect the hands, ears, lower legs, or feet. Symptoms include:

Recommended Related to First Aid

Understanding Frostbite -- Symptoms

For frostnip: White patches of skin that are numb For frostbite (superficial or deep): Skin that is white or grayish-yellow and feels hard, waxy, or numb, or is blistering or becoming darkened or black Other symptoms include swelling, itching, burning, and deep pain during the rewarming/healing process. Get medical attention immediately if you think you may have frostbite.

Read the Understanding Frostbite -- Symptoms article > >

  • Local redness and swelling.
  • Skin bumps.
  • Changes in sensation, such as itching or burning.
  • Tender blue bumps that develop after rewarming.
  • Blisters and ulcers (in severe cases).

Treatment includes rewarming the affected areas, caring for any blisters that form, and avoiding reexposure to cold.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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