Bitten Again – Frostbite, Your Feet and Deja Vu

snowing shoesWe all experience deja vu and, for podiatrists and other health professionals, this is especially true when it comes to patients who experience re-occurring health issues.  Take this Tuesday; a thirty-year-old male patient visited our office with pain and a bluish discoloration to his middle toe of his left foot.  As the patient is a contractor, his work requires him to be outdoors for extended periods throughout the day.  As such, he is exposed to cold and bitter weather throughout the winter months.  As he had previously been in a year earlier with the same symptoms, the diagnosis was again frostbite.  As Yogi Berra said, déjà vu all over again.

Frostbite occurs when there is insufficient blood and oxygen pulsing through an organ or extremity due to severely cold temperatures. Due the potential severity of frostbite, if your affected body part does not begin receiving ample supplies of blood and oxygen, the situation could worsen and in extreme cases amputation may be the only course of action.  The good news is that with some basic knowledge about the telltale signs of frostbite, as detailed in this excellent article on WebMD.com, you can watch for the signs of this condition.  If you think you are suffering from frostbite due to extended exposure to cold temperatures, your first step is to seek out a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

‘An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure’

Whenever there is a drastic drop in temperature, we all pull out our winter coats, scarves and mittens.  These are also the items that we will replace and maintain to a greater extent than to the boots and shoes we use in cold weather.  The reality is that we cannot neglect our feet, and the weather should determine what we walk around in. The first thing to remember is, as our moms always told us; layers, layers, layers! That’s what you need to keep in mind when dressing for this chilly weather. In terms of your footwear, you can start by avoiding open-toed shoes such as sandals, wedges or even those peep toe booties.  Wearing shoes with a broad toe-box will allow for air to circulate.  Additionally, wearing thicker socks with your shoes will help keep your feet and toes comfortably warm and protected.  For women, leg warmers are also a great idea to protect your lower legs.

This is the season when the emergency room fills up with all sorts of winter related injuries, especially cases of frostbite on fingers and toes. The extreme cold or exposure to this cold weather for a long period of time is the ideal situation for frostbite to occur.  A little preparation and some basic knowledge can mean the difference between maintaining optimal health and dealing with a painful and potentially devastating case of frostbite.

Country Foot Care has an on-site Medical Shoe Store at our Mineola offices and our doctors and staff can help you determine the best boots and cold weather shoes for your own specific needs.  To make an appointment you can contact us at either of our locations during regular office hours or you can make an appointment online using the REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.

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