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Chilblains S014

Last amended 
5 March 2018
Current RMA Instruments
Changes from previous Instruments

SOP Bulletin 201

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 991.5
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: T69.1
Brief description

Chilblains is a condition in which skin lesions (macules, papules, plaques, or nodules) develop at sites of cold exposure (to temperatures below 10 degrees but above freezing). The condition usually presents within 12 to 24 hours of cold exposure and resolves within weeks, although in some people there may be a recurrent or chronic course.  The fingers and toes are the most commonly involved sites.

Confirming the diagnosis

This diagnosis is made clinically.

The relevant medical specialist is a dermatologist or general physician.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Erythema pernio
  • Perniosis
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • Frostbite*
  • Immersion foot*
  • Trench foot* - immersion foot SOP
  • Non freezing cold injury*

* Another SOP applies

Clinical onset

Clinical onset will be at the time when symptoms first manifest (within 24 hours of relevant exposure).  If there are distinct unrelated acute episodes, well separated in time, then each episode may represent a new clinical onset.

Clinical worsening

Appropriate management includes avoiding unprotected exposure to cold conditions.  The condition generally improves with appropriate treatment.