Most people with chilblains don't need to see a doctor, but if you're in pain or suspect you might have an infection, see your primary care doctor. He or she may suggest treatment, or may refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist) or circulatory disorders (cardiologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you've noticed, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses, recent life changes or vacations to different climates.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you ensure that you cover all of the points that are important to you. For chilblains, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- Do I need any tests?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
- I have other medical problems. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Do your symptoms get worse in response to quick changes in temperature?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- Have you ever had these symptoms before?
- Have you been diagnosed with Raynaud's phenomenon?
What you can do in the meantime
While you're waiting to see your doctor, be sure to keep the affected area warm and clean.
Dec. 06, 2012
- Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine.8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Oct. 5, 2012.
- Prakask S, et al. Idiopathic chilblains. The American Journal of Medicine. 2009;122:1152.
- Vano-Galvan S, et al. Chilblains. CMAJ. 2012;184:67.
- Tintinalli JE, et al, eds. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6366741. Accessed Oct. 6, 2012.
- 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.