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sparkenho sparkenho

The cure for my chilblains is...

Calcium tablets WITH Vitamin D. I have had sixty odd years with chilblains and I am only grateful to my childhood doctor for this cure because without it I don't know what I would have done otherwise.

You won't get immediate relief from taking the tablets. If you are in the grip of a bad chilblain attack it may take two to three weeks of taking a tablet three times a day after meals before you see an improvement. The best way is to take the tablets as a preventative treatment. As soon as you feel the signs that signal the onset of chilblains take, to start with, one tablet a day and increase as necessary. I only take them as necessary. When the symptoms go away and/or the weather turns mild I stop taking them and look out for the symptoms returning again.

The following is a background to my lifestyle so that you can, if you wish, equate it with your own. You will see that despite having a diet reasonably rich in calcium and vitamin D and being involved in plenty of physical activity I still need to take these tablets when confronted with chilblains.

I am a fit, active and healthy 67 year old and without taking those tablets I would get chilblains every winter. My feet are always cold from Autumn to Spring despite my body feeling warm and what I wear on on my feet and whether I am inside or outside the house. My feet even know, in a warm and carpeted room, when there is a hard frost outside by giving a tingling sensation. One other symptom I have, which might be indicative of poor circulation to the extremities, is white fingers which I get quite often even though the rest of my body is warm.

When I was young I did a lot of long distance running, played Rugby, Soccer and Badminton competitively. I now ride a bike most days for at least an hour and so it is obviously nothing to do with lack of exercise. How those poor soldiers who were prone to chilblains in the first world war coped with the complaint in the trenches I dread to think.

Diet wise I have an orange every morning, followed by porrige with milk and honey, followed by a round of wholemeal bread with marmalade. Midday I have a meal consisting of meat with three or four vegetables and in the evening I'll have wholemeal bread with cheese. It's not as plain as it sounds because whilst breakfast is invariably the same, I never seem to tire of that, the midday meals do vary by using potatoes, rice or pasta dishes and in the evening, ham and salmon may be used in lieu of cheese with other additions of onions, tomatoes, beetroot and lettuce etc. I do not smoke and I drink on average a glass of wine a day and occasionally a pint or two of beer.

I hope, if you try the above remedy, it works for you. At least if it doesn't the tablets will have helped in warding off osteoporosis and at the best you will join me in being eternally grateful to Dr Gould, my childhood doctor!

14 Replies

  • Guest Guest

    [color=darkblue:96e122bbf2][/color:96e122bbf2] smile How well I know your experiences with chilblains! I have suffered as long as I can remember. Some years are worse than others, but rarely a year has gone by without at least a mild attack. I live in the south of England where temperatures are not extreme. I have recently retired, so I am not as physically active as I used to be. Perhaps this is why I am already suffering a bad attack despite no frosts yet! I do suffer from poor circulation: my fingers easily go white and dead, and this is the precursor to the first chilblain. My grandfather and my father suffered from the same white fingers although I do not recall them complaining of chilblains. I was a smoker, although I stopped 20 years ago. I have had to have surgery to my carotid arteries to unblock them, and I have type 2 diabetes - two reasons for me to beware of certain 'cures'. Your suggestion is certainly worth trying, and I shall discuss it with my GP. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Guest Guest

    I suffered with chilblains as a child, some 55 years ago. Then they disappeared. About 8 years ago I started a dog walking business, so now I am out in all weathers, cold, wet, etc. The chilblains returned about 4 years ago, and I have suffered every winter since then. I read the experience on Calcium and Vit D and started taking it about 2 weeks ago. I have to say, the chilblains are going - no longer painful or swollen, although my affected toes are still a bit red. I cannot believe it! I'm not counting my chickens yet though, but certainly seems to work.

  • rhondacanada rhondacanada

    I have a daughter who is 6. I live in Toronto Canada. It's been a freezing winter. Still today is -19 degrees Celsius and it's March 13th.

    My daughter has a huge toe. Podiatrist says it's Chilblains. Vaseline and warm socks he said . Never heard of it and I grew up in frigid weather.

    What is the amount of calcium and Vitamin D that I should give a child? And who is Dr. Gould? Can I contact him?

    Thanks. Please answer if you can.

    • sparkenho sparkenho rhondacanada

      Hello rhondacanada,,

      I'm sorry for the late reply but I have only just become aware of your message. The recommended daily calcium supplement for an adult is 800mg and will be less for children under the age of 12 years and so it is important that you ascertain from your daughter's doctor the recommended intake for a 6 year old child beforehand.

      The only other help I can offer is the same as that offered by your podiatrist and that is, which I know is easier said than done, to keep feet and/or hands warm at ALL times; warm bed socks can be helpful in bed at night.

      Dr Gould is no longer available for consultation

      Best wiehes for your daughter's speedy relief,


      With best wishes for your son's speedy relief,


  • gryl gryl sparkenho

    Dear you all out there with chilblains.

    My son was 5 when the doctor told us what was the trouble. Today he is 6 years old and during autumn and winter he struggles with his toes and fingers. Mostly it is his big toes. I sit and sing for him or play audio books for him every night so he can fall asleep. I will immediately try calcium  and vitamin D. Please post other things that also can help. Thank you from Norway.

    • sparkenho sparkenho gryl

      Hello gryl,

      The recommended daily calcium supplement for an adult is 800mg and will be less for children under the age of 12 years and so it is important that you ascertain from your son's doctor the recommended intake for a 6 year old child beforehand.

      The only other help I can offer is in the prevention of the onset of chilblains and which is easier said than done, and that is to keep feet and hands warm at ALL times; warm bed socks can be helpful at night.

      With best wishes for your son's speedy relief,


  • mike06564 mike06564 sparkenho

    What a wonderfully lucid and helpful entry,I knew you were not recently at school after the first two lines.

    Just like you as a youth I led a very sporting and healthy lifestyle (a horrible modern expression,my apologies) and a 78 I still walk and cycle a great deal. But for the past 2 winters I have suffered from a chilblain on one toe of my left foot,and today I feel the onset of it this year.

    Past requests for advice to the medicos have elicited shrugged shoulders and blank faces,so I will certainly give your suggestion a try.

    Thank you from the Isle of Man.


  • gryl gryl sparkenho


    I would like to add one more thing and it is that my 7 years old son does itch nearly all the time (if not all the time). He wakes up in the morning and can be itching and then he has been sleeping in a tempered room. He sweats on his feet and it appears like that makes him itch?? Anyone experience that?

    He has started to take calcium with D vitamin. Let us hope it gets better....

    Best regard Gryl

  • tony91881 tony91881 sparkenho

    Every winter my GP tries to unravel the mystery of my chilblains.  I've had them every year but one, since the winter of 1971, when I worked for a month in Toowoomba, at the top of the Toowoomba range.  The first day on my way to work, an 80 km ride on my '58 model Matchless 650 twin, my toes and fingers lost all feeling and I stopped on the side of the road to warm them on the engine block.  That apparently is not recommended and I've had recurring chilblains ever since.

    My GP believes it's some sort of autoimmune condition but my blood-tests came back negative to Reynauds.  Nevertheless he suspects my experience with a tetanus injection just before I rode up to Toowoomba may have primed my system for a reaction to my body's chemical response to the cold in my fingers and toes.

    I've tried a number of different remedies aimed at promoting blood circulation in my extremities and stopping my fingers from going white/yellow and numb on cold mornings.  E.g. I took cayenne pepper capsules by mouth every day, and applied chilli ointment topically.  A number of things seemed to work for a while but just when I'd think I'd finally found the cure they'd come back stronger than ever.

    Since I retired from work at 65 it hasn't been a problem for me, when they get too bad I can just go to bed and get under the doona, that gets rid of them in about 5 - 10 minutes.

    My GP told me the best treatment for chilblains seems to be to have an attack of chilblains.  After a couple of hours they fade away and I get a mildly euphoric feeling.  But they return the next cold day.

    This winter I'll be trialling the calcium/vit D supplements, and I've also been having several drinks every day of hot water with turmeric and cayenne pepper powder and chopped fresh garlic.  I also have at least one large cup of ginkgo tea to promote my circulation, and hawthorne berry tea which also has cardiovascular benefits.  I'll let you all know how they go.

    All the best to my fellow sufferers.  Btw, one thing that helps I found is cutting a fresh onion and applying the cut surface to the chilblain.  That provides some relief.

    • gryl gryl tony91881

      Dear Tony

      I am so greatful for all good advices and I am curious of how things works out after some time with calcium/vit. D. It seems to have helped my son at (to day!!! :-)   ) 8 years old a bit. I will remember the onion part. Thank you.

    • tony91881 tony91881 gryl

      It looks as tho I might have found the solution, touch wood.  No chilblain problems yet and we've had some very cold weather for over a month.  It still may be too soon to be sure, we still have another month or so of winter to come, but it's looking very promising. 

      The measures I've stuck with every day so far have been:

      1. the ginkgo tea,

      2. wearing warm clothes all the time, including gloves, beanies, three pairs of socks including those silver metallic thread arthritis socks,

      3. bone broth each day, with vitamin C powder,

      4. whenever my hands feel cold I have a few teaspoons of a mixture of spices I heated up in coconut oil:  turmeric, cayenne pepper, hot curry powder, cumin.  These  all supposedly have an anti-inflammatory effect, including the coconut oil.

      5. I no longer have any sugar or white flour in my diet - I think these are too pro-inflammatory.

      I stopped taking the calcium & vit D supplement when I started having bone broth every day.  'didn't want to risk overdosing on calcium.

      And I keep a pot of soup simmering and have a cup whenever I feel the need to warm up.

      I've also given up riding pushbike at night and have taken up jogging (and weights) instead until winter's over.  I found I couldn't keep my toes from going numb when riding.

      Hope that helps.

  • tony91881 tony91881 sparkenho

    Here's another tip I just read, for improving blood circulation (assuming chilblains can be associated with poor circulation):  Every day, have a hot shower and before finishing switch to just cold water after about 3 minutes.  Stay under the cold shower for maybe 10-20 seconds then go back to hot again.  Repeat this another 5 times - 3 minutes hot followed by 10-20 seconds cold.  After a week or two your circulation will be a lot stronger, according to the source of this tip.

    If you've already got a chilblain when you start doing this I suggest you keep your hand/foot out of the water, just get your torso wet.  It's meant to work on your whole circulatory system, not directly on the blood vessels in your hands and feet.  Quickly heating your hands  and feet is what gives you chilblains in the first place, so I'm told.

    I'm going to start trying the hydrotherapy tonight.  All you people in the UK and Canada will laugh when you hear I live on the NSW/Qld border in Australia, but where I live in the foothills it does get cold enough to give me chillies.  I grew up in North Queensland and I'm used to hot weather.  This time of the year is when the cold (what I call cold) weather starts, so I started taking the calcium last week.  I've run out of ginkgo tea but I think my ex-wife can get me some from her workplace so I'll be having that as well, every day now through winter.

    By the way, re my previous post, I just read you're supposed to crush fresh garlic and leave it stand a few minutes, not chop it; crushing it causes it to produce more allicin which is the active ingredient.  Go figure.

  • abs05456 abs05456 sparkenho

    Applying DIPROBASE cream (for dry itchy skin and eczema) on my chilbalins 3-4 times a day when they appeared completely healed my chilblains in 2 days. The same level of application healed severe chilblains in about 5-7 days. 

    ZEROCREAM (similar to diprobase) also worked, but a little slower. This discovery was purely by chance as I do not suffer any skin conditions other than chilblains. I suffer very severe chilblains every year from October to March and I also suffer from reynauds. This treatment brought me great relief!

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