As the cold weather arrives, the problems of chilblains or frostbite of the feet increase.
At Clínica San Román we are dedicated to the care of the feet, so we offer some tips to avoid frostbite caused by cold in the feet for reasons of being in mountain places, places with low temperature or for doing winter sports.
It should be clarified that freezing the foot is not the same as hypothermia. Hypothermia is a life-threatening whole body temperature problem. In this article we talk about chilblains that corresponds to an inflammation under the skin of the extremities of the body in this case of the feet produced by the continuous cold or humidity.
What influences the appearance of chilblains?
1. Influences the time of exposure to cold. The longer the time, the greater the possibility of frostbite in the feet.
2. Humidity causes the cold to be more intense
3. Wind chill. An example of this is being in sub-zero temperatures with strong winds can cause thermal sensations of -30 degrees.
4. Foot immobilization. The less movement of the foot with the cold the more possibility of frostbite, in the case of people who perform ski boots should not impede the mobility of the foot.
5. Clothing materials. It is important to keep warm, in winter sports to equip yourself with quality materials.
6. It also influences if you already suffer from a vascular problem.
7. Hypoxia (lack of oxygen in the blood) a condition that increases the appearance of chilblains due to low temperatures.
Who is more vulnerable?
The elderly and children are the most vulnerable due to the low level of defenses found at those ages, causing chilblains (the least severe degree of frostbite).
What to do if chilblains appear?
1. If our clothes are damp, change them quickly for dry clothes.
2. Do not drink alcohol, even if it is the usual thing to do when it is very cold.
3. Do not smoke, due to the increase of carbon dioxide in the blood.
4. Place the foot in a container of water at a normal body temperature of 36 degrees for 20 minutes.
5. Elevate the foot
6. If a blister appears, do not remove it and, above all, consult a podiatrist.
Article prepared by Clínica San Román
Date of publication: 6-10-2017
Date of revision: 6-02-2020