When you think about your leg, you probably imagine something like what’s depicted in anatomy textbooks. Those legs have a thigh, knee, and calf—all of which are supposed to be covered with skin. What you might not expect is the sensation of cold creeping up from the knees downward. But if you’ve ever been outside on a frosty day, that feeling isn’t as weird as it seems at first glance. That creepy cold phenomenon is known as chilblains or pernio. It occurs when exposure to cold triggers a constricted blood flow in the small blood vessels under the skin of your ankles and feet—the exact same place where those veins are most exposed to the elements. As a result, the area experiences swelling and inflammation with redness, itchiness, and pain as secondary symptoms. Have no fear; chilblains aren’t painful or dangerous; they just feel weird and look even weirder! In this article, we will investigate what causes chilblains so that you can prevent them from happening again!
Why Are My Legs Cold From The Knee Down?
These are called Chilblains which are triggered by exposure to cold, which then reduces the blood flow to your lower legs. The reduced blood flow leaves your lower legs with a lack of nutrients, which can cause the skin to become itchy and irritated. If you’re the type of person who sweats a lot, you have a reduced risk of getting chilblains. When you perspire, your skin is getting rid of toxins and excess salt and water. That process will also dehydrate your skin and reduce the risk of chilblains. If you’re often exposed to cold and you’re not wearing the right types of shoes or clothing, you may be more prone to getting chilblains.
Tips To Avoid Chilblains
1. Play it safe with cold weather Outwear
High-performance fabrics are the way to go! You want to look trim and sleek like a sportswear model, not a kid wearing their dad’s clothes. Loose clothing is overrated and will only slow you down. Pick strong but flexible fabrics like oiled cotton, wool blends, and Polartec® fabrics—it doesn’t matter if they cost you an arm and a leg! Top off your look with some wax-coated boots designed specifically for snow sports. The trick is ensuring that insulation is intact as well as keeping the legs dry—waxing clothing can fix this problem!
2. Keep Warm in Cold Weather Coats
Pick furnishing coats that fit the curvature of your figure without looking frosty—you don’t have to buy the most expensive coat out there. Make sure that the cloth used to make your coat is waterproof so that bad weather outside won’t seep into it as easily; also look into hydrophobic treatments on cloth before trying out every fabric texture on sale to see if they aren’t too hot for you! Individuals with chronically cold hands or feet should be happily surprised by new materials such as Teflon®, eVent®, Thermacryl®, or Hydrinate®—we welcome them!
3. Moisturize Your Pearly Whites Homemade Ingredients
Make sure that you start running warm water while brushing your teeth to keep your mouth in tiptop shape during cold weather; gargle a few times after. People always tell us that they are scared of H2O while they’re brushing their teeth but, remember, water is the key to our existence! Besides water, there are some useful natural substances like flax seeds and boldo leaf tea that can also defend you against bacteria and inflammation. People with gum disease or receding gums should see their dentist as soon as possible!
4. Talk Your Partner into a Vegetarian Dinner
Meat-eaters often come down with infections in cold weather because of a shortage of B vitamins—refer to Chapter 16, nutrients 101—a deficiency of B6 damages the lining of the intestines and can compromise your ability to ward off pathogens. Fortunately there are vegetarian sources rife with thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine—remember? The signs and symptoms of a vitamin b deficiency for vegetarians will be the same for meat-eaters too so be careful if get any persistent sores in your mouth!
5. Repair a Bike
It is important to install oil-dependent bicycle bearings, cables and inner tubes while they are warm during winter but you have 1–2 hours before they cool off—see if the instructions are around on how to do it on YouTube, that’s all we have to say about bikes at The Unofficial Guide!
6. Stay Awake and Alert after Lunch Environmental Effects
Regardless of nationality, there is a worldwide perception of 3PM being the worst time of day for fatigue, indecisiveness and disorientation; your body is essentially telling you that a long lunch overloads its energy stores by breaking down your metabolic processes—it simply starts draining fat instead of glycogen. We recommend at least 6 hours of sleep or half an hour in front of an energizing TV show on VH1 like Workout + Sweat with Denise Austin (what if you melted?!). For some people with chronic fatigue syndrome or hypothyroidism, living normally in winter will have these negative effects hit home even harder so consult your doctor—if only he/she could be shown this goddamn myth!
How To Treat Chilblains?
1. Get Some Exercise
That’s right, for some reason that no one can explain, the human body’s metabolism is increased by exercise. It could be a result of a greater need for warmth—the body is trying to burn more calories to keep you warm or it could simply be a result of the general movement of your arms and legs; your muscles are contracting and relaxing which requires energy!
2. Drink Water
Drinking water will help reduce the swelling in the affected areas but it will also improve blood circulation which will get rid of excess fluid in your blood vessels—this is called oedema. If you want to get rid of chilblains fast, eat a lot of green leafy vegetables like spinach—they contain vitamin C which promotes collagen production in your skin.
3. Get Plenty of Vitamin C!
This nutrient washes away free radicals and increases cell respiration while also enhancing immune system function; take at least 1000mg everyday or you can also try topical application as well!
4. Try Antihistamines
They may help with the itching and swelling of your skin but you should also consult a doctor to ensure you’re not allergic to them—they will also make you drowsy so don’t take it if you have work or class to attend.
5. Try Painkillers
They will at least dull the pain in your extremities but don’t overuse them because they can be addictive; acetaminophen is a good choice as it is non-addictive and doesn’t cause stomach ulcers! Avoid aspirin as it can lead to liver damage and bleeding!
6. Get Some Rest
Sleep will give your body the time it needs to heal itself so get some rest, sleep in when possible and try not to exert yourself—this includes getting out of bed too quickly if your chilblains are on your feet!
Chilblains are caused by a reaction to the cold, which results in restricted blood flow to the skin of the ankles and feet. This can cause the skin to become itchy and red. Chilblains can be treated with moisturizers, ice packs, and elevation, but there is no cure. To prevent chilblains, make sure to dress warmly, wear warm socks, and stay hydrated.