- A cold injury which, while painful, causes little or no permanent impairment. It appears as red, swollen skin which is tender, hot to the touch, and may itch. This can worsen to an aching, prickly ("pins and needles") sensation, and then numbness. It can develop in only a few hours in skin exposed to cold. The first aid treatment of chilblains is to stop exposure to cold, remove any wet or constrictive clothing, gently wash and dry the injured area, elevate it, cover it with layers of loose warm clothes and allow to rewarm. Like other kinds of cold injury such as trench foot and frostbite, chilblains may occur with and without freezing of body tissues. The young and the elderly are especially prone to cold injury. Alcohol increases the risk of cold injury which can lead to loss of body parts and even to death. "Chilblain" is an old English term compounded from chill + blain, an archaic word for a inflamed swelling or sore on the body.
* * *Erythema, itching, and burning, especially of the dorsa of the fingers and toes, and of the heels, nose, and ears caused by vascular constriction on exposure to extreme cold (usually associated with high humidity); lesions can be single or multiple, and can become blistered and ulcerated. SYN: erythema pernio, perniosis. [chill + A.S. blegen, a blain]
* * *chil·blain 'chil-.blān n an inflammatory swelling or sore caused by exposure (as of the feet or hands) to cold called also pernio
* * *chil·blain (chilґblān) [L. pernio] a recurrent localized erythema and doughy subcutaneous swelling caused by exposure to cold associated with dampness, and accompanied by pruritus and a burning sensation. In children it usually involves the hands, feet, ears, and face; in adults it more often involves the extremities. Called also erythema pernio and pernio.
Medical dictionary. 2011.