urine treatment chilblains

Should you pee on your chilblains to treat them?

It easy to come across recommendations that urine therapy should be used to treat chilblains with lots of references to “my mum” or “my grandma” used to use it and swears by it fixing their chilblains (Google it). There is not a shred of evidence that it helps except for the unreliable anecdotes and testimonials. You will occasionally have a patient ask about it, because they heard about it from their grandma or they Googled it.

Urine therapy has quite a following and involves drinking your urine, bathing in your urine or applying your urine to different body parts to treat everything from cancer to cuts to jelly fish stings to infected eyes to chilblains. Its does not work for anything. It is made up pseudoscience with a nonsensical rationale used to justify it. Any claimed mechanism or rationale is easy to debunk. Not one study has shown that it works for anything or anybody and there is no known physiological mechanism by which it could work. Yet, you can see in social media claims like “one of the biggest cover-ups of all time is the healing power of urine“. I have even seen someone trying to find a way in which their urine could be used for a blood transfusion! If anyone has an improvement in the symptoms following the use of urine therapy, then that is because it was a placebo, or because of the natural history of the condition, or because of regression to the mean of the symptoms, or because of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Urine treatment for chilblains does not work. There is nothing in urine that can affect chilblains and there is no known mechanism by which anything in urine can affect the physiological process of chilblains. There is no evidence that it can help chilblains. Yet despite that there is plenty of advice online that this is a guaranteed cure for chilblains. If anyone has an improvement in the symptoms following the use of urine therapy for their chilblains, then that is because it was a placebo, or because of the natural history of the condition, or because of regression to the mean of the symptoms, or because of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

However, having said that, it is possible the peeing on your chilblains might help due to the natural warmth of urine (that is, unless you are using aged urine which is supposed to have even more magical and mythical properties). However that may help because of the warmth and not because of any magical properties of the urine. There are better and more efficient ways to apply warmth to a chilblain.

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