There are many different types of lupus erythematous. Chilblain is a form of sub-acute discoid lupus. It is an autoimmune disorder which causes a variety of symptoms and is characterized by reddish-purple nodules or lesions which usually form on the fingers and toes. Chilblain can cause red blotches, swelling and irritation to the skin. It can appear like frostbite and can be confused as frostbite when it develops on the hands and toes. It may also be confused with Vitiligo.
Cause of Chilblain Lupus
Chilblain lupus can occur due to medications. Hydrochlorothiazide can cause chilblain. It is used as a diuretic to help remove excess fluid from the body. There are also medications which are in the drug class of calcium channel blockers which have also been reported to cause the symptoms of chilblain.
The changing weather can also cause chilblain lupus. When the skin is subjected to cold air, such as outside in the winter months, then exposed to warm air, as in warming the hands up too quickly with water or placing them by a fire, it can cause the blood vessels in the skin to expand to fast and cause the skin to develop lesions. This is more common during the months of November to April, since these are the coldest months of the year. It is important during the cold season to warm up slowly to prevent this from happening.
Risk Factors for Developing Chilblains
People who have circulation problems may be more likely to develop chilblain. This can be due to the fact that they are more sensitive to warm and cold temperatures. People who suffer from diabetes may be more susceptible to developing chilblain if they do not take good care of their diabetes. It may also affect the elderly if they suffer from poor circulation and are not able to move around well.
Females are more prone to develop chilblain. There is not a known explanation on why women tend to develop it more than men. It may be due to the fact that women usually have more delicate skin than men, making the blood vessels more susceptible to be damaged.
Treatment of Chilblain
In many cases, chilblain does not require any treatment. It can heal on its own depending on the severity and the area affected. If the affected area is constantly exposed to the cold air, it may require treatment. The most common treatment is corticosteroid creams. These creams help to relieve any itching or swelling associated with chilblain. These creams also contain steroids which help the skin to heal faster. In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe medications used to lower blood pressure. These medications help to open up the blood vessels which helps the blood flow to the affected area and promotes healing.
If you think that you have developed chilblain lupus, it is best to get a diagnosis from your doctor. After you have determined the cause, your doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment for you.