How to Treat Chilblains in Children

If your child is particularly sensitive to cold due to bad circu­lation, then chilblains may be a common occurrence. They are red, inflamed, itchy patches of skin, which are caused when the blood vessels near the surface of the skin narrow to keep in the heat in response to cold weather and then widen again when in the warmth. The skin tends to become pale and numb. Fingers, toes, ankles, ears and the backs of legs are most commonly affected. For some reason, girls tend to be more prone to chilblains than boys.

What you can do

Treatment is often not necessary, although putting talcum powder on the affected area may help to relieve the itching. Make sure your child is well wrapped up before going out in the cold.


Traditional Chinese medicine

If the problem is persistent, TCM may prove an effective therapy. A practitioner would see chilblains as a problem of yang deficiency. Herbal infu­sions including Ginger, Chinese Angelica and Red Sage, or Marigold may be used to help improve circulation.

Herbal medicine

Dusting your child’s feet with cayenne pep­per mixed with talcum or arrowroot powder may help to keep them warm. A practitioner may advise a salve contain­ing primrose leaves, lanolin, honey and thyme oil. Other treatments may include tincture of Myrrh, Rosemary, Lavender or Peppermint oil or Nettle juice. They may also suggest that your child could be lacking in calcium and silica which can be found in yoghurt, cheese, almonds, soybeans, lemon, and green vegetables.


A naturopath may recommend you give your child alternate warm and cool foot baths and that they only wear natural fibre shoes and socks. They may give mineral salt supplements such as calcium and iron phosphate or potassium chloride and vitamin B and E supplements to aid circulation. Ginger has properties which can help the circulation, so giving Ginger tea or increasing its intake in your child’s food may be advised.


If the skin is not feeling too sensitive then aro­matherapy massage can help to bring relief to chilblains. Lemon can help the circulation while Sandalwood works well as an antiseptic. Foot baths containing a couple of drops of one of these oils can also be beneficial.

Other therapies that may be beneficial: reflexology, biochemic tissue salts.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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