Suggestions to speed the recovery of a slight case of frost nip?
March 5, 2018 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Over the past fortnight or so I seem to have given myself a couple slight cases of frost nip on the tops of a few of my toes. The affected areas are slightly red, swollen, sensitive to touch and easily irritated. Googling about for advice has netted instructions for immediate care (drying, rewarming, &c), but save topical application of aloe vera I've not found any recommendations for ongoing ministrations.

I did find this previous question, but as I didn't even notice the first incident until some days later, and the second was over a week ago, I don't think medical services are necessary. I have grumpily forced myself to forego any more incidents of ice swimming until they heal, though, as that seems to have been the culprit -- the second incident was when I noticed a similar irritation in a couple other toes, and realised that frigid water was the likely culprit.

The lingering swelling and sensitivity are a nuisance, though, and I'd like to speed the recovery process if possible. (I had a similar -- but more severe -- case on one of my ears a couple of winters ago which IIRC healed up more quickly, but it's possible ears are warmer/more bountifully circulated than feet?) Purchased some aloe vera this evening and have begun forcing myself to not go barefoot on the tile floors -- any additional suggestions to return my toes to their usual uncomplaining state?
posted by myotahapea to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This sounds like chillblains. Can you get Friar's Balsm where you live?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:52 PM on March 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

IANAD - but when I had chilblains on my toes as a teenager, my doctor told me to use Hemorrhoid cream as it dilates blood vessels and encourages circulation and it worked wonders because the soreness you have is caused by the blood vessels being constricted. Used to clear them up in 1 or 2 days. That, and good wool socks in good leather shoes.
posted by cholly at 1:55 PM on March 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had something very similar that I thought was chilblains until I figured out it was an allergic reaction to the wool lining in my boots. Or maybe my toes did get too cold and the wool aggravated the condition. So, if you have other warm socks try avoiding wool on your feet.
posted by mareli at 4:34 PM on March 5, 2018

Cholly, I am pretty sure that hemorrhoid cream is a vasoconstrictor and that chilblains are inflamed blood vessels. So the advice sounds right, but flipped.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:36 PM on March 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

PorcineWithMe - Good catch! That's an interesting point, so I've gone back and worked out what the dr did give me. I was given a cream with glyceryl trinitrate - a vasodilator to encourage circulation - Rectogesic, although it seems now that I read it it is used post hemorrhoid surgery not on the hemorrhoids themselves (so teenage me is now far less grossed out than I was at the time).
posted by cholly at 9:20 PM on March 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I get what sounds like similar symptoms from Raynaud's disease. For me, and probably for you, the primary thing is to keep your feet warm (promotes circulation).
posted by SemiSalt at 4:38 AM on March 6, 2018

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