Factors that may increase your risk of chilblains include:

  • Exposure of skin to cold. Skin that's exposed to cold, damp conditions is more likely to develop chilblains.
  • Being female. Women are more likely to get chilblains, though why is not known.
  • Being underweight. People who weigh about 20 percent less than is expected for their height have an increased risk of chilblains.
  • Where you live. Ironically, chilblains are less likely in colder and drier areas because the living conditions and clothing used in these areas are more protective against cold. But, if you live in an area with high humidity and low, but not freezing, temperatures, your risk of chilblains is higher.
  • The time of year. Chilblains are more common from early winter to spring. Chilblains often disappear completely in the spring.
  • Having poor circulation. People with poor circulation tend to be more sensitive to changes in temperature, making them more susceptible to chilblains.
  • Having been diagnosed with Raynaud's phenomenon. People with Raynaud's phenomenon, another cold-related condition that affects the extremities, are more susceptible to chilblains. Either condition can result in sores, but Raynaud's causes different types of color changes on the skin.
Dec. 06, 2012