You can be confident you have chilblains if:
- you get tender, itchy red or purple patches on your fingers or toes within a few hours of going into cold and damp air
- the patches don’t continue to get worse, and get better within a few weeks
- you’re otherwise well.
Chilblains generally get better on their own, but may return if you expose your skin to damp cold again. They may come back each year if the condition becomes chronic.
If you’re not sure, you could start by talking to your pharmacist. They can give you advice on the best painkiller to take, and creams to help soothe the itching. They can also tell you if you need to see your healthcare provider. Chilblains can generally be diagnosed from looking at the affected area and asking questions about your symptoms. If there’s any doubt about why you might have developed chilblains, you may need a blood test to rule out other conditions. Rarely, you may be prescribed a medicine to help improve your blood flow.