Do you get chilblains each winter? Well, I do. At the first sight of snow, angry, itchy, red welts appear on my feet and slowly creep up my toes. I immediately start panicking about how to stop chilblains itching.
This post may contain affiliate links.
The other night, we had friends over for dinner and we were joking around about all of our ailments. I was on a roll and asked our guests if they had ever heard of chilblains. The look on their faces was priceless – it fell somewhere in between intense curiosity and total disgust at the mere sound of whatever this was.
“That sounds disgusting,” one of my friends commented, “What is it?”
“Well, it’s as if 1000 mosquitos bit your toes in the middle of the night and when you finally realize what they’ve done, it’s too late,” I swigged my wine, “because once the itch sets in, you’re pretty much screwed.”
“Ewwww. What do you mean?” she said.
“Well, the itch starts at the base of your toes. You know it’s coming because you’ll notice random red or blue patches – like spots – on the top of your feet,” I laughed, “Then, in just a few hours, your feet turn angry red and start to itch like mad. By the end of the day, your toes have been attacked too and little blisters set up shop on the tippy top of your toes. And, you can’t scratch them, so all you want to do is scream.”
“Chilblains (CHILL- blayns ) are the painful inflammation of small blood vessels in your skin that occur in response to repeated exposure to cold but not freezing air. Also known as pernio, chilblains can cause itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on your hands and feet. Chilblains usually clear up within one to three weeks, especially if the weather gets warmer. You may have recurrences seasonally for years.” Courtesy of The Mayo Clinic.
Yeah, my feet are gross. And when my chilblains kick in, my toes look like angry, red, swollen sausages. It’s nasty. But, if you’re reading this, then your feet are gross too and you’ve probably been up all night scratching your feet like a dog with fleas. Right? Well, don’t worry – I’m not judging you. I go through this every single winter as soon as the first snow falls.
But this year, I found out how to stop chilblains itching naturally with essential oils.
That’s right. As soon as I saw the first angry red welts on my feet, I decided to search in every forum I could find for a solution on how to stop chilblains itching so that every one of us chilblain sufferers could make it without going to the doctor or spending a ton of cash.
How To Stop Chilblains Itching
After playing with the various oils in my linen closet, I discovered that a 50/50 mix of peppermint oil and rosemary oil was the perfect blend to stop chilblain itching almost immediately. I’m not kidding. But since I never apply my essential oils neat, I mixed the peppermint oil and rosemary oil with a carrier oil – in this case, fractionated coconut oil. Then, I applied it liberally to the tops of my feet (where I could see splotches of color) and all over my toes. I did this twice a day for two days.
Trust me, this works. Within minutes, my feet warmed up from the peppermint and the itch started to subside drastically. I was actually able to fall asleep without scratching like a maniac. The key is to make sure that you use enough drops of oil and really slather it on your skin. Peppermint is notorious for burning your eyes, so I apply it with a Q-tip and then make sure to wash my hands thoroughly.
Note: Please do NOT put this on broken skin or open wounds. It will be incredibly painful and is not appropriate for any weeping blister or open cuts!
I have to say that by the next morning, my feet look and felt remarkably better. There was still a mild itching present, but after I applied the oils again the second day, the itching stopped. Within 48 hours, my toes no longer looked like sausages although they were still tender to the touch. That stays with you for a few more days, but the itching – which is the worst problem with chilblains – was gone.
Now I’m not an essential oils wizard; I just like to use them in my home. But the reason I picked these two essential oils is that they both work on your circulatory system. Peppermint works on pain and discomfort (a lot of people use it for migraines) and Rosemary is good for vasodilation / healthy blood flow. So these two oils stop the discomfort and increase blood flow. It just makes sense!
Natural Remedy: How To Stop Chilblains Itching
- 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- A splash of Fractionated Coconut Oil
Step 1: Mix all 3 ingredients together in a Tupperware with a lid. Stir with a Q-tip and slather all over your toes and feet. Repeat twice a day until the itching stops.
Where To Buy Your Essential Oils
It doesn’t matter to me where you buy your oils from – just try to purchase them from a safe, reputable company. (I included some links below to some great companies in case you need help finding one.)
- PlantTherapy.com (My kids love their Discover KidSafe Essential Oils Pre-Diluted Roll-On Products)
- Rocky Mountain Oils (They also have a really nice Kids’ Line)
- Neals Yard Remedies (For our UK fans! My nutrition response practitioner has this line in his office and it’s quite nice!)
But if we’re being completely honest here, I was so desperate the night of the first chilblains attack that I used the subpar oils that I clean my house with and the fractionated coconut oil that I cook with. I don’t recommend doing this for all of the reasons you’re imagining, but desperate times called for desperate measures…and even with subpar oils, it worked.
And just so you know, chilblains doesn’t just attack your toes in the wintertime. A simple trip to the grocery store in flip-flops can also trigger it, so I’ll have this remedy on hand all year long now!
Hope your itchy, red, swollen, “sausage toes” get some relief,
Want more articles like this?
- 5 summer skin care tips for women
- 5 tips for healthy lips
- why sweating is good for us
- lavender coconut oil sugar scrub