Fight Frosty Toes When Out Cheering on the Buckeyes!

The time of year is fast approaching when only the most dedicated of fans will brave the cold weather to attend Buckeye’s football games.  Staying warm at the games or any outdoor activities this winter. As snowfall becomes more frequent, it is not only a matter of spectating comfort, but also a matter of safety.

The damage that is incurred by your body depends on exactly what Mother Nature is doing and how long you will be exposed to the elements.  When it is damp along with the cold, individuals become more at risk for developing what is called pernio syndrome or acute chilblains.  In most cases, skin that is poorly protected or in contact with wet clothing will become red and slightly inflamed with intense itching and burning.  Extreme heat over 85 degrees Fahrenheit and itching or scratching should be avoided and the area should clear in less than two weeks. If the skin is repeatedly exposed to such conditions, chilblains may become chronic with the red inflamed area becoming a more serious ulcer type of lesion.

Frostbite is a more commonly heard of cold injury that is more serious than chilblains and occurs with extreme cold exposure, even without wetness.  Unlike in chilblains, the tissues making up the area of exposure in frostbite actually freeze with ice crystals developing in or around the cells.  As with many cold injuries, the feet are commonly affected as blood is shunted towards the core to keep many vital organs warmed to a temperature that allows them to keep functioning properly.  Frostbite is extremely important to stop before permanent tissue damage occurs that can lead to amputation.  If the foot still has sensation, displays pinks skin when it is warmed and has no blisters or blisters with clear fluid this typically indicates that you should still contact your podiatrist but your foot should still be able to make a return to good health.

Individuals with pre-existing peripheral vascular disease such as venous stasis or atherosclerosis are more susceptible to developing a cold injury and need to take extra care to keep extremities protected.  Everyone should be sure to keep feet warm and dry when braving the elements in order to stay healthy and be able to keep cheering on the Buckeyes!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington. If you would like to see a podiatrist in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-885-3338 for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia