Serving Chicagoland
and Surrounding Suburbs

Board Certified in Foot and
Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery

Protecting Your Feet Against Frostbite

There are many reasons to ensure that your feet are properly protected and warm during the winter, but the most important is that frostbite can be a downright miserable experience. Your foot doctor in Beverly has some timely tips for preventing and, if necessary, treating frostbite.

What Is Frostbite?

Frostbite occurs when the skin, or even the tissue below the skin, freezes as a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. The outcome is painful and can mean permanent damage – in the most severe cases amputation may be necessary. Frostbite can occur anywhere on your body, but is especially debilitating to the feet as it will cause mobility issues.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Wearing multiple pairs of socks is the best way to protect your feet and toes. The pair that is touching your skin should be made of moisture-wicking fabric. For the outer layer, thick wool socks work best. Finally, insulated boots that rise above your ankles are the outer layer that help protect your feet. Foot warmers are an optional additional protection. Your feet should not feel too constricted, as tightness might constrict blood flow and lead to frostbite.

Know The Warning Signs

Redness, stinging, or burning are all early signs that should alert you to the fact that frostbite is on its way. Following these, numbness tends to occur. Once any of these four symptoms (or anything else out of the ordinary) become apparent, you should immediately head inside to warm up if possible.

Treating Frostbite

If you experience any of the above detailed symptoms, there are a few things that you should do. Never submerge your feet in hot water or use any other form of direct heat. Rubbing or popping any blisters is also ill-advised. Instead, warm water or a warm cloth will have a better effect and feel less severe. Once you are done washing, dry the skin and use gauze or cotton balls between the toes to permit them to dry. Thoroughly drying the affected area is important to preventing infection.

Contact Mitchell Foot & Ankle, your foot doctor in Beverly, today for more information, winter feet safety tips, or to schedule an appointment!


Mitchell Foot & Ankle

1338 E 47th St.
Chicago, IL 60653

Fax: 773-433-8108

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