Do your hands turn purple in the winter and start to itch or hurt? Chances are you are suffering from chilblains. Read what you can do about it below.
What are chilblains?
When the weather gets colder, your hands and feet are the first to suffer. The change from the wet and cold outdoors to the warm indoors can cause tingling, itching, swelling and can even be painful. Scratching can form wounds and cuts and in some cases blisters or bumps (ouch). Don’t worry though, these are all typical symptoms for chilblains and we’re here to help you get through the winter without any discomfort!
How do you get chilblains?
When it’s cold, your capillaries and blood vessels contract to prevent you from losing too much heat. When it’s warm, they expand again in order to cool down. When chilblains occur (both in your fingers or toes), your small blood vessels simply don’t contract and widen quickly enough. This often happens when they are cold for too long causing your blood vessels to narrow, which in turn affects the blood flow. The result is a shortage of oxygen in your skin, causing damage or inflammation. It’s unknown why some people are more prone to getting chilblains than others but it occurs more frequently amongst women than men and heredity plays a role.
What can you do about chilblains?
First of all, it’s important to know what not to do. Scratching, for example, only makes it worse and putting your cold hands under the hot tap dries out the skin, resulting in cracks and wounds.
The best things to do against chilblains are:
- Rub the painful or itchy areas to stimulate blood flow.
- Avoid constricting clothing, such as tight gloves.
- Choose warm, windproof materials to protect your skin from wind and cold, such as wool and leather.
- Keep moving in the cold.
- Quitting smoking is never wrong advice, but it also improves blood circulation.
- Keep your hands moisturised with a greasy cream to restore the natural skin barrier.
Keep your hands moisturised!
Normally, moist skin is regulated by a protective layer of sebum and fat between the horn cells of your hands. If the protective layer is damaged, you also lose moisture, leaving your skin in no condition to protect against external influences, including the cold. The result: dry hands, wounds and cracks. To restore your skin barrier, we recommend hydrating your hands with a moisturising and greasy cream. With Cream for Chapped Skin you can quickly restore chapped skin. The soothing and nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, aloe vera and vitamin E help heal wounds and cracks quickly. Herome’s 24 Hour Protective Hand Cream is also a cream that you can use every day to prevent chapped spots. Put it in your bag so you can hydrate your hands on the go – for example after cycling or washing your hands.
More tips and advice on hand care
Would you like to read more about hand care or hand hygiene? We have written several articles to help you out! Check out all our blogs or go straight to our hand care products for silky soft hands. Don’t forget to take a look at our Youtube Channel, Instagram and Facebook for more tips and advice to give your hands the best care.