I got ’em.
It sounds like something from days of yore, like dyspepsia or biliousness, but it’s a real thing. In reaction to cold temperature, fingers, toes, and even ears and noses can swell and become red, painful, and itchy. I only have it on my fingers and toes. So far.
It hurts and itches at the same time, so you will find me scratching my fingers, growling over them, and announcing to whomever has the misfortune to be within earshot, “Chilblains! Aaaahh! I got the chilblains!”
I am so pleasant to be around in the winter. Between the chilblains and the dearth of gardening activities, I can be a real dream.
It doesn’t usually get bitter cold here, which may be part of the problem. It’s a teasing sort of climate, where it can be 72 degrees in December (like this week), or 25 degrees for a week straight (seldom, but it does happen occasionally). My point is, I never know when to take winter seriously so I haven’t learned how to dress properly for the cold. I don’t have a mitten strategy, sort of like how we don’t know how to drive in the snow down here and NO ONE has tire chains or snow shovels.
Besides, when it’s cold here, it’s also cold in our 80 year-old house and I am not comfortable cooking and cleaning and so on with gloves on. Sometimes, the gloves have to come off and BOOM. Chilblains.
I’ve heard of anti-chilblain creme, but I’ve been assured on various forums that they don’t work. I take various herbal tinctures that are supposed to help improve circulation and warm me up, but I still get them.
I need help from you cold climate folks, you drafty garret people, those of you who grew up building underground snow tunnels in your front yards.
What do you do to keep warm???