A chilblain is an inflammatory affection of the skin, more particularly of the fingers or toes caused by alternations of cold and heat, and is characterized rather by irritating and troublesome itching than by pain. Persons of fine skin, scrofulous constitution or languid circulation are most liable to suffer from chilblains, and old people and children more than persons of middle life. The sudden exposure of the skin when very cold to a high temperature is generally and justly considered to be an exciting cause of the affection; but one quite as frequent is keeping the surface in a state of artificial warmth by the use of sleeping-socks and hot applications in bed, or of fur-lined shoes and foot-warmers in the daytime. All these applications keep the skin in a continual state of unnatural perspiration, weaken its tone, and so render it more susceptible to the effects of cold when exposed to it.


Apis, red stinging. Anacardium, violent itching. Arsenicum, burning. Rhus tox., watery blisters.