Preventing Frostbite

Winter’s cold temperatures can be super harsh on our lower extremities, especially on our toes. If you don’t take proper care to prevent your feet from getting cold, you may end up with frostbite. Earlier this month we discussed why you may be experiencing foot pain this January. Let’s take a closer look at frostbite and how to stop this condition before it starts!

What is Frostbite?

When you’re exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period, you increase your risk of developing frostbite or freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Frostbite affects you in stages, the mildest form being frostnip, which bears no permanent damage to the skin.

As frostbite worsens, you can end up with muscle, bone, and tissue damage and your skin may look hard and waxy-looking. It’s important to call your podiatrist when you suspect you’ve developed frostbite on your feet and toes.

How Can You Tell You Have Frostbite?

Symptoms of frostbite include…

  • Cold skin
  • A prickling feeling
  • Numbness
  • Color change in your skin (usually red, white, blue, or purple, depending on the severity)
  • Hard or waxy looking skin
  • Joint and muscle stiffness
  • Blistering skin after you’ve warmed up
  • Pain, swelling, and inflammation.

Steering Clear of Frostbite

Luckily, frostbite is a condition that can be easily prevented, if you take certain measures to avoid it. Staying warm is the most important way you can prevent frostbite. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay bundled up inside all day. Making sure you have a pair of thick, comfy socks and sturdy winter boots can do the job, too. We also recommend…

  • Dressing in thick, warm layers
  • Limiting your time outside
  • Considering sock liners or foot warmers
  • Keep a close eye on your feet for signs of frostbite.
  • Hydrate and eat well.
  • Stay active to keep your blood flowing.

Concerned about frostbite this winter? Call our office today and ask about it. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, Dr. Anne-Louise Smith, Dr. Justin Muser, and the rest of the staff at Syracuse Podiatry in East Syracuse, New York, can help treat and care for your feet. Call us at 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online to get help today.

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