Thyroid UK

Advice on what these are on my feet please?

My feet are always cold and so are my hand and i seem to get these blister type things on my feet and when my feet get warm really quick they itch like mad!!! and i get the same on my hands too Here is a picture of it

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40 Replies

Chillblains my dear! They develop as an abnormal response to cold. Have you seen your GP about them, if not you need to go as soon as, there looks to be quite a few lurking, don't suffer in silence. xx There's a leaflet here


Yes been to see docs a few times about this but dont seem to get no where with them, may have to book another appointment as they seem to be getting worse as some are turning to blood blisters. Plus its been like this for along time months on end,


I had chilblains as a child but they didn't look at all like yours. I never had any little spits/pustules with mine. From what I can remember it was just my toes that got really red/ purple and intensely itchy and it was always in the dead of winter. I wouldn't have thought it was cold enough at the moment although saying that it isn't that warm these days and I noticed my fingers went white and I lost feeling in them a couple of weeks ago. wonder why you aren't getting anywhere with your doctor?

Might be worth trying a visit to a chiropodist - sadly it probably means paying for it yourself but they might have more of an idea - especially if your doctor isn't interested. It looks painful.


Im 34 and had this going on since I was 8yrs old and plus ive tried hydrocortisone cream and other stuff from gp but they have never worked and it gets worse if I wear anything on my feet or they get over heated and sweaty they feel at eases when there cold or put ice on them, I get these all year round so it doesnt matter if there a weather change it happen dueing winter, spring, autum and summer definatley worse than ever in summer. ive been asking for years but no response from doctors


Are you sure it isn't some sort of eczema?


Show him your photo rachel and give him a list of your symptoms. Can you see another doc at your surgery?


I wonder if they are the beginning of chilblains. I do know they get very itchy and sore:-


Hi Rachel,

You have not filled in your profile with your medical history. Are you hypo or hyper and are you on medication?


I was diagnosed with hypothyiodism 2 year ago was put on 50mcg levo but november gone was taken off the meds by a consultant at hospital because I was having symptoms off hyper and he told me stop and have bloods in feb 2014 and had the bloods and it came back normal and now im not on any meds at all for thyroid.


Can you get a copy of your blood test results for Feb with the ranges and put on a new question for members to comment upon them. Just in case someone can throw some light on them.


I think I posted my results previously a few month back which was tsh 2 which I told my gp I should be still on them to be honest as I have loads of symptoms of hypo and hyper


Dyshidrotic eczema looks a possibility


Is the it itching really intense? And clear fluid inside blisters and the itch stops if blisters are popped? That is how mine are,and it is pompholyx,maybe that could be what you have.mine comes and goes,have had it for years so for me I don't think it's connected to my thyroid issue. Drives me mad at times tho! I found apple cider vinegar on them eases the itch a bit but breaking the blisters stops itching better but have to mind they don't get any infection in them.


They only itch when my feet and hands and cheeks get really hot but they dont when im cold, they do blister but turns into blood blister


Rachel in your first post you say your hands and feet are always cold, do the blisters appear when your feet are cold, only when they warm up or are they there all the time?


I have the same as you Cupi - Pompholyx - Got them at the moment after a holiday in cornwall with lots of walking & feet overheating - Drives me mad! - some of the blisters are massive & unsightly & even get them on my hands too & they weep quite a lot & look nasty! The Doctor gave me some cream called Nerisone - But can only use it on the ones that have not popped yet - It is a type of cortisone cream. I have had mine for 16 years now - since I was 39 & it started in the hot summer time. Stress sometimes causes it to happen. It does make me think it is linked to having a compromised immune system, as I have underactive Thyroid, Rheumatoid arthritis & Osteoarthritis - A sort of system overload - Barrel of laughs it aint!


Have you seen a skin specialist?


No never seen a skin specialist might ask doctor to refer me because i hurts that bad I cant hardly walk on them


I think you should push to get to see skin specialist. Take some close up photos when it is bad though in case it improves when you appointment comes round.

My husband has eczema - he used to have it very badly but doesn't seem to be bothered so much now - we gave up dairy produce and that helped a huge amount. Anyway, he still occasionally gets little fluid filled spots every now and again, they look a bit like yours. his are on his hands or fingers, don't know if they hurt or not though.

As well as avoiding dairy foods, he is very careful about the sort of soap / toiletries he uses.


My partner has the same itchy blisters - mainly hands and armpits - and he also found that cutting out dairy and coffee as well as regular massage and acupuncture all but cured him.

I think it may be a nickel allergy and I'd like him to try the low-nickel diet. He agrees that some foods (onions for example) irritate his skin both on contact and taken as food, which would fit with nickel allergy.

He has been diagnosed with eczema but yk, there is no medical solution for that aside from steroid cream, so we are always looking for other stuff to try.


I know, it is really terrible. My husband has had eczema since he was born (67) and in all those years I hot think any real progress has been made in either curing or treating it. I always think they have put a man on the moon yet eczema sufferers still suffer.

We did find that he was allergic to lanolin and considering when I knew him first that was what he was using that has helped. Avoiding dairy products and also taking antihistamine tablets during the summer months has really helped his skin and also his asthma - it is pretty much non existent now. He takes a mixture of soya, rice, or oat milk - which ever is cheapest in the supermarket.


Has he tried the low-nickel diet? I'm beginning the campaign to get my partner on it. :-) As he has symptoms of nickel allergy (the onion thing plus he can't wear anything with nickel in it) I feel excited about it. (Of course that's easy for me to say.)

It doesn't look hard, just not simple like dairy (ie you have kind of a random list of things to avoid - lentils, whole wheat, kidney beans, soy, porridge - but not all that extensive).

My partner was diagnosed w common/garden variety eczema but I am sure his is the kind LilyMay has - dyshidrotic eczema. When I met him he couldn't sleep through the night and had scars on his back from scratching with a coat hanger(!!) but now he just gets some occasional itching/blisters/splitting skin on his hands and sometimes itchy armpits. His new gp is also much more helpful than previous one, who basically said there was nothing more they could do (which infuriated me and turned out not to be true).

It is a miserable problem. I'm glad your husband is seeing results. :-)


Ouch - scratching with a coat hanger - like they say 'I feel his pain' I know I was always saying stop scratching but it is incredibly difficult to stop. I think those funny little spots must be part and parcel of regular exzema because my husband has regular exzema but gets them. The funny thing is his skin heals up so quickly and doesn't scar. There is room for research if only someone would do it for future generations. Good luck with avoiding nickel.


My poor chap used to scratch in his sleep so there is just no way to avoid it if it's bad. Ice packs sometimes help.

If your hubs gets the blisters he may have the dyshidrotic kind. It is mainly on hands and feet. There are different kinds of eczema but I don't think the gps will bother to pull the threads apart unless showing off. My chap has only been diagnosed w ordinary atopic eczema too but because they only ever seem to see steroids as a 'solution' they don't bother looking at the other varieties and possible other solutions (ie allergy and diet). The nickel connection is a particular issue with this dyshidrotic eczema.

I was flabbergasted that the gp never mentioned giving up dairy as this is the first thing you do with children with eczema. Bonkers.


I know, scratching in their sleep! I could say 'stop scratching' in mine.

My mother in law had some strange theories - ' you can't buy a house with gas heating in it, she was shocked when we got a cat ( housewarming present from my mother - she would never let me have one when I lived at home! As it is my husband is fine with the cat but he is mega allergic to most dogs - ones with oily coats spaniels are worst although if he double doses with antihistamines and the dog is kept away from him he can just about go into a doggy household. He isn't a dog lover though, probably because he is so allergic, although he does quite like the odd dog we know,

Poor souls spent years rubbing in lanolin - then after we got married I persuaded him to go and get tested and he was seriously allergic to - guess what? Yes, lanolin. Thank heavens you can get some quite good stuff for people with allergies. Hope you told your doctor about ditching the dairy if you have eczema. :-)


If your cold hands and feet are due to Reynaud's, try taking L-arginine 1000mg twice daily. I haven't had a Reynaud's attack since I began doing this several years ago (except if I skip doses).


That's not chilblains - that's pompholx (otherwise known as dyshidrotic eczema). I get it too. They're like little bubbles that appear from no where and as they heal, peel off like old blisters.

Haven't found out what cause them yet, but I haven't had them all my life. Started about 7 or 8 years ago during a period when I was really stressed. Now they turn up every time I'm stressed (got some at the moment...)


Hi LilyMay. I'm so interested in your dx.

Sorry to repeat this so often in so many places in this thread - I'm not selling anything I promise :-) - but Idk if you'll get a notification unless I reply directly to you. Have you tried a low-nickel diet? There is meant to be a connection between dyshidrotic eczema and nickel in the diet.

Did your gp diagnose you? My partner has all the symptoms but the gp never seems interested in any treatment besides steroids, which have thinned the skin on his hands so it splits.


No, he just dismissed it as dermatitis. Wasn't interested. :(

After lots of searching I found lots of people on the internet with the same thing. At the moment, I have a big itchy bubbly thing on my left thumb and all the skin's off my left big toe. Both are driving me nuts.

But... Hello... (Light bulb moment) I'm definitely allergic to nickel. Can't tolerate wristwatch metal buckles and my pierced ears go all weepy if I try wearing cheap earrings...

I bet nickel's in all my favourite foods, isn't it? Oh no.... Break it to me gently....


Yes, the two are related! It was a light bulb moment for me too because my partner's hands (fingertips and palms mainly) are sometimes just dreadful, all skinned and splitting and peeling. It would be great if he could make a good push forward after all he's done to improve the eczema on the rest of his body, which is all but completely gone.

Don't despair! It is a seemingly random group of mainly vegetable foods (wheat bran, lentils, almonds, oats etc) which shouldn't be too hard to avoid but it isn't intuitive in any way, so you will need to get used to a diet sheet. Anyway, if the diet helps you can always stray from it occasionally and take an antihistamine. :-) Gardening with bare hands should also be avoided as there is nickel in soil.

I can see a lot of people getting flummoxed because they've taken the trouble to avoid milk to fix their eczema, but if they're using almond, oat or soy milk they could be going back to square one. This is the part my husband is struggling with because he quite likes his soy milk and doesn't really want to have to get used to something else now.

I guess we should be glad he only has it on his hands and not his feet. Small mercies etc?

You've confirmed for me that gps aren't bothered about delineating the various sorts and causes, but so much misery could be avoided so simply if they would.


Oh dear.



Baking powder

Brown lentils



Canned foods



Food cooked with or in nickel-containing utensils


















Whole meal flour

Still, if I cut that lot out, I'll definitely lose weight... :( :)


Oops, I was so long-winded in my reply you looked it up yourself. :-)

You could look at it this way: if you try the diet for a few weeks and it helps, you can then re-introduce some of the foods on the list and if you have a reaction you can take an antihistamine.

Some of these diet sheets (this is an American one but I've seen lots of Indian lists too) rely on local products and their nickel content, which varies depending on the soil, so Indian lentils and American almonds might cause a problem, but Italian lentils etc might be okay.

I wonder if antihistamine cream on the rash would help...


LOL, I couldn't resist a quick Google. Looks like tomatoes might be the biggest challenge - we eat a lot of canned tomatoes. But apparently it's ok to eat jarred or boxed tomatoes - like passata??


Hi Have a diabetes test, gos with thyroid, autoimmune and hormonal, Blood test Hb1Ac



Is my post further up missing to everyone ?


What post? :-) :-) :-)

I do find that when viewing the site on anything less than a PC (e.g. phone or tablet), sometimes responses don't all appear. Or they do appear but take a while - so I could scroll up and down a few times, see nothing, write and post a response and only then be able to see a much earlier response.


I assume this is an Apple issue too. When I scroll down it appears there are no more replies, then suddenly the page scrolls right past where I was looking. I use a MacBook/Safari and this is an annoying glitch.

1 like

Well, I don't have much personal experience of OSX, but it certainly happens (very severely) on my old iPad.


I'd ask for a referral to a rheumatologist - if it is related to raynauds or similar they can give you an oral medication that can help :) they're pretty severe.


Forgot to ask if you've been tested for Coeliac. I think this probably isn't dermatitis herpetiformis (the blisters look bigger than the photos I've seen of dh) but the stakes are high w coeliac so worth a check. :-)


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