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Chilblain on a patient's big toe. Chilblains are areas of itchy, red, swollen skin that occur as a reaction to cold temperatures. The small blood vessels of the extremities contract in the cold, and may release blood into surrounding tissue if they expand too quickly upon reheating. Chilblains rarely cause permanent damage, and normally heal within a few hours if exposure to the cold is avoided. Severe, recurring chilblains carry a risk of blistering and infection.
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