The exact reason chilblains occur is unknown. They may be an abnormal reaction of your body to cold exposure followed by rewarming. Rewarming of cold skin can cause small blood vessels under the skin to expand more quickly than nearby larger blood vessels can handle, resulting in a "bottleneck" effect and the blood leaking into nearby tissues.
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- Souwer IH, et al. Chronic chilblains. BMJ. 2011;342:1.
- Souwer IH, et al. Vitamin D3 is not effective in the treatment of chronic chilblains. The International Journal of Clinical Practice. 2009;63:282.