Red, Purple or blue toes? Could be Chilblains

Posted by Amy Z on January 27, 2011 in News, Trivia |

Today, I found out that I have Chilblains. My toes started getting red and swollen, then started turning purple in places, almost a month ago. They are very sore. My doctor was stumped, prescribed antibiotics, and said it should get better soon. It got worse. Another doctor said it looked like frostbite. I went to the dermatologist today. He took one look and knew exactly what it was; Chilblains. This occurs when you develop a sensitivity to cold and blood vessels break under the skin, causing swelling, pain and red, purple or blue coloration. I have read that sometimes there is itching but mine never itched, they just hurt. In this picture, they are getting better and are no longer purple. The doctor said it is important that they not get cold again. (more pictures here) It’s kind of creepy to have sore purple toes, and I was worried when I didn’t know what was wrong with them. My fingers are getting it now, too. But at least I know what is going on.  Also, I wasn’t out in the cold, that is not how I got Chilblains. I got it from sitting in a cold room (my office, about 65 degrees) for a long time. I just suddenly have a sensitivity to cold. It doesn’t even have to be extreme cold. Is this a good enough reason to move to Florida?

You may notice on the side if my big toe on the left, and on the toe next to my big toe on my right foot they are still a little purple. It is now January, 2013, and I have not gotten Chilblains again.

My previous post accused Ugg boots of causing a skin infection in my toes. If you suspect a skin infection from Uggs, maybe you have Chilblains like I do.  At least now I can keep my Ugg boots. I need to wash them first, though. Which I tried and it worked out pretty well.

Related:  I washed and dried my Ugg Boots


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  • lainee says:

    Hello, I was wondering if I could use the photo of your toes for my blog on Raynaud’s disease. Let me know if that’s okay. Thanks!

  • Christine says:

    Thanks for posting the pictures. I now can show what happens to my toes. I am still not convinced that it is not caused by a lanolin allergic reaction. Yes it is in cold weather but it also in cold weather that I wear my sheepskin slippers and ugg boots.I guess I could put them on now in the summer and test it, but I really do not want to go through the pain again if they flare up. Warming up your feet slowly is important with pernio so I’m wondering if maybe the sheepskin heats the foot too quickly. I don’t know. I am moving before the first snow to a warmer climate and have thrown away all sheepskin footwear so it will remain a mystery to me. Hopefully.

  • Nik Lear says:

    Hi There,
    My Name is Nik and I was doing a little research on chilblains and came across your post here.
    If you have a look at my site it will fill you in on what I am doing. I was wondering if you could email me back and let me know if you are still having your problems. I would like to offer our chilblains treatment to you at no cost as I would like an additional story about my grandmothers Best Chilblains Treatment. We havn’t had a person we havent been able to help. My email is nik.lear@yahoo.com.au and the website is http://www.bestchilblainstreatment.com. Hope to hear from you soon.:)

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