Ask an expert

12 Jul 2005

Painful swellon cracked fingers,they have a redish, blue color
Hi There

My Grandad suffers every winter with is fingers that swell and crack, the look a reddish blue color. His hands are only like this in winter. He has tried all sorts of creams but they either don’t work or the may give slight relief. He is in terrible pain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Answer 907 views

01 Jan 0001

Ceila, it sounds like it might be due to chilblains. Chilblains are red, itching skin lesions, usually on the hands and feet, caused by exposure to cold without actual freezing of the tissues. They may be associated with oedema or blistering and are aggravated by warmth. With continued exposure, ulcerative or haemorrhagic lesions may appear and progress to scarring, fibrosis and atrophy of the tissues involved. Treatment consists of elevating the affected part slightly and allowing it to warm gradually (NB) at room temperature. Do not rub or massage injured tissues or use heat (or cold). Try to protect the affected areas from trauma and secondary infections. These measures are usually enough. If not, your child can try taking nicotinic acid, Loftyl® or as a last resort, Minipress®. I have heard about “speensalf” working for other people and I suppose it’s a safe enough option to try. Other than that, I don’t think there is much more you can do except for seeing a dermatologist. Good luck.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.