Swelling feet in winters is known by the name Chilblains. It is a condition that is faced by everyone at one or the other point of time. This condition can affect at any age. It is caused by the severe exposure to cold. It is characterised by redness, swelling, pain in toes, fingers etc. These develop as an abnormal response to cold. The treatment includes improving the stagnant blood flow of swollen and itchy toes. This is done by avoiding rapid changes in temperature of hands and feet. This condition happens when the body is unable to adapt to certain changes in temperature outside. When the temperature is normal, on heating blood flow increases with dilation of blood vessels and on cold stimulus, the blood flow decreases with narrowing of vessels. In the condition of swollen feet, on heating, the blood flow increases but the blood vessels fail to dilate and increased blood flow termed as “Bottle neck effect”. The excess blood seeps out of capillaries leading to swelling and itching.
They are painful as well as itchy. They often create a large swollen area that is reddish in colour. Swelling in winters mainly occur when the skin gets cold and the capillaries beneath the skin tighten to help keep the body heat in. When the skin is quickly introduced to a warm environment, it warms up too quickly and some fluid escapes the capillaries and soaks into soft tissues. This condition is quite common in people who have poor blood circulation. After they show up during the first winter, they are much likely to develop in the following winters. This problem is most common in the countries that have a mix of cold and high humidity. It is actually less common in the coldest countries because the air is typically drier in coldest countries. Symptoms include- skin itching, red coloured skin, tendered pain, formation of blisters or a small ulcer develops where the skin has broken down. The fact is that chilblains do not stick around for long. They normally disappear after 7-14 days. But, if you have poor blood circulation or prone to diabetes then medical advice is necessary otherwise this condition can be easily cured by simple home remedies. Scratching must be avoided at the affected part.
Swelling due to winters and Dosha involvement according to Ayurveda
Chilblains is mainly influenced by the imbalance of “Vata” and “Kapha” doshas at the level of tendons and ligaments. This condition can be easily cured by few lifestyle corrections and Ayurvedic home remedies. Chilblains usually has a pre-disposing factor of joint disorders. General Ayurvedic treatment includes keeping the body warm, avoiding temperature fluctuation etc. This condition must not be confused with oedema which is caused by fluid retention. This condition is entirely different from oedema (water retention).
Top 7 Natural tips for Swollen feet in winter
1. Mustard Oil – Apply lukewarm mustard oil on the affected foot or toes, leave it for 10-15 minutes and take warm water bath preferably in the morning.
2. Include Trikatu powder in diet – Trikatu is a blend of three spices. If you find trikatu a bit spicy, then atleast include dry ginger in your diet. Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory herb and also boosts the digestion and it also helps to keep the joints warm.
3. If you are suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis or gout, keep these diseases under control during winter season.
4. Neem oil – If the condition is severe and there are open blisters too that cause bleeding, then apply the paste of neem oil and turmeric. This paste will help the blisters to heal faster.
5. TriphalaKwath – Wash the affected area with Triphalakwath will help to control itching and also relieves blisters. TriphalaKwath is an Ayurvedic medicine in decoction form.
6. Avoid oily food – Avoid oily food in winters as it will help in relieving swollen feet.
7. Use gloves and socks for warmth in hands and legs. Affected parts must not be exposed directly to cold winds. It will aggravate “Vata” dosha which worsen the pain and inflammation.
Other tips are:
8. Include curry leaves, sesame seeds, lemon juice in your diet.
9. Potato – Slice a potato and sprinkle some salt on it. Rub it over the affected area. This remedy helps in soothing itching and redness.
10. Massage – Massage the affected area with sesame oil helps in providing relief.
11. Soak your feet in a warm water bath in which half tablespoon of common salt is added for 10-15 minutes. Do this remedy twice a day regularly. You will get relief in 3-5 days.
12. Blackpepper – Crush some blackpeppers and fry them in a tablespoon of mustard oil. Filter this and apply over the affected part.
13. Marigold – Soak the affected part in a mixture of marigold flowers and a teaspoon of salt for sometime helps in reducing swelling.
14. Onion (Allium sepa) – Onion is a powerful anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and a blood circulation enhancer. Apply the slashed edge of raw onion all over the affected parts and let the juice to be immersed into the skin. This will help to reduce the itching instantly.
15. Garlic – Garlic is considered as a natural anti-septic which can quickly reduce itchiness as well as inflammation and promotes instant healing.
16. Lemon – Lemon can also be used as a remedy for swollen feet in winter season. Squeeze the juice of lemons and massage it over the affected part. This will help to heal quickly.
17. Turnips – Turnips are considered as natural pain killers. They are also used for healing wounds, helps in reducing swellings and combating infections. Therefore, turnips for swollen feet in winters is a good remedy.
Certain Ayurvedic medicines having guggulu as an ingredient will help to cure swelling in winter season faster. Seek the help of an expert Ayurvedic physician.
Swelling feet in winters can be easily cured by simple home remedies as well as by making changes in the diet and lifestyle. Nature has all the solution for all the problems whether chronic or simple. Nature is the best medicine!