The winter is officially here and it is full of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors through engaging in winter sports or playing in the snow. Despite the fun, the cold temperatures can take a toll on our bodies, especially our extremities, so it is important to protect our feet to prevent conditions like frostbite.
Frostbite develops when the skin or tissues freeze due to prolonged exposure to severe cold or wet temperatures. It can result in pain, burning, numbness, changes to skin color, and lead to permanent damage, even amputation, if not properly treated.
Follow these tips to prevent frostbite:
- Limit your time spent in the extreme cold – If you start to get pain or numbness in your toes, move to a warmer area until sensation returns.
- Protect your feet and toes in layers – Doubling up with well fitting, moisture-wicking socks will help keep your feet and toes insulated and dry.
- Wear appropriate boots – Many cases of frostbite can be avoided by wearing properly fitted and insulated boots. If you are going to be in cold, wet conditions, be sure to wear boots that have extra insulation and are waterproof.
- Stay hydrated – Dehydration can hasten frostbite so be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
- Keep moving – Exercise your toes to help keep blood circulating to your extremities and avoid standing still for long periods.
If you develop mild frostbite, immediately move to a warmer location and slowly warm the feet with compresses or a warm foot bath until sensation returns. For more serious frostbite, seek help from a medical professional like a podiatrist to prevent further damage.
Whether you develop frostbite or become injured during a winter sport activity, consulting with a board-certified podiatrist is the first step. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal and his dedicated staff are equipped with advanced technologies and expertise to provide high quality foot care. Don’t wait to treat your heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, arthritis, or diabetic foot problems! Contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 to schedule an appointment today!