Temperatures are dropping but that is no excuse to sit indoors and not have any fun. Whether you want to go for a stroll around the neighborhood or dive into ski or snow boarding season, be sure to keep your feet warm. Not wearing the appropriate shoe gear or layers can lead to a condition called frostbite. Frostbite is a condition in which freezing temperatures can damage the skin due to damage surrounding blood vessels and possible cell death. Because of their location away from the core, the feet, hands, nose and ears become areas of special concern during cold injury.
Lower temperatures tend to narrow or constrict blood vessels which decreases supply to our skin and tissues. Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease can make one more prone to frostbite injury.
Pain and irritation are common symptoms of cold exposure. If a deeper frostbite injury has occured, numbness, burning and blistering can also occur. It is very important to avoid extreme heat when treating frostbite- however tempting it may be, remember to avoid heaters or blow dryers as they can result in further injury.
Remember to wear warm layers when going out in the cold and wear proper fitting boots/shoes during activity. Shoe gear should never be snug or tight-allow some room for your toes to wiggle. Too big of a shoe is also no good as it can lead to blisters and chafing.
If you suspect you have frostbite, immediately seek medical attention.