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  • Writer's pictureCrozet Foot and Ankle

Watch out for Frostbite!

I Can’t Feel My Feet!

In just 10 minutes, the low wind chills this week could cause frostbite on exposed skin.

Look, if the correct precautions aren’t taken, this could have severe consequences on your health.

What Is Frostbite?

Frostbite is likely to happen in body parts farthest from the heart, which makes your feet and toes an easy target. Frostbite is when the layers of the skin actually begin to freeze, which can lead to skin damage.

  • First-degree: Pale skin becomes red and swollen upon warming, as well as numbness in the feet.

  • Second-degree: Blistering and damage to the dermal layer of skin

  • Third-degree: damage to subcutaneous tissues; blisters worsen and fill with blood

  • Fourth-degree: development of gangrene; amputation of one or more toes

Imagine how cold we feel with all of our technological advances. Picture soldiers in World War I, freezing in trenches. Honestly, we have it made.

When Should I Call A Doctor?

During first-degree frost bite, if your feet do not begin to gain sensation after efforts to warm the skin, such as a warm bath, it is best to call a doctor to avoid future complications.

Sometimes, patients can misinterpret cold feet for frostbite, when it’s really a much trickier diagnosis, called Chilblains.

Fight Off Frostbite

Please take this seriously. This Polar Vortex is going to be the coldest in a generation. Here are some tips to avoid putting your feet at risk this winter.

  1. Wear Liner Socks: Liner socks can be worn under a pair of thicker socks and are made of a thin synthetic material such as polypropylene. This website offers a wide variety of liner socks!

  2. Make Sure Your Boots Fit Correctly: Make sure to try your boots on with the socks you plan to wear. If the sock thickness makes the boot too tight, you need to adjust it!

  3. Change Your Socks When Feet Get Wet: If your feet are exposed to damp conditions, this can hurry the effects of frostbite.

  4. Wear Warm Clothing: Insulated, waterproof clothing is the way to go. Start with a base layer made from synthetic materials or wool. Choose waterproof footwear designed for the cold.

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