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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:

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  • 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 15, 2013
    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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