A chilblain is a condition which results from defective blood circulation on exposure to cold. The skin may first become itchy, then red and swollen with a burning sensation and very tender to touch. An infection may occur should the skin break down. Chilblains usually appear on the extremities fingers, toes and ears. Dampness and cold winds when temperatures are around freezing, can cause damage to unprotected skin. The elderly and very young are most vulnerable. Chilblains usually go away over 7-14 days but if you are prone to them they can recur.