With winter’s bitter winds and freezing temperatures, most of us are bundling up in our heavy jackets, scarves, and gloves. But one of the areas of our bodies that frequently goes neglected is our feet. Our lower extremities are especially sensitive to the cold and if we’re not careful, we may end up with frostbite.
All About Frostbite
Exposure to cold temperatures for an extended period can leave you with frostbite, which is a skin injury due to freezing skin and underlying tissues. Frostbite works in stages. You usually start with frostnip. As your condition worsens, you’ll likely end up with permanent damage to not only your skin, but bone, muscle, and tissue.
Signs You Have It
Because of skin numbness, you may not even realize you’ve developed frostbite until it’s too late. Here are the top symptoms you should watch out for with this condition:
- Cold skin
- A prickling feeling
- Change in the color of your skin (usually red, white, blue, or purple, depending on the severity of your frostbite)
- Hard or waxy-looking skin
- Joint and muscle stiffness
- Blistering skin after you warm up
- Pain, inflammation, and swelling
If you notice any signs of frostbite, it’s important you call your podiatrist or go to the emergency room. Frostnip won’t require much medical assistance, but there may be underlying damage you’re not aware of and can’t treat at home. Depending on how severe your frostbite is, your doctor will likely suggest these treatment options:
- Rewarming the skin
- Medicine for any pain
- Dressing any wounds
- Removing damaged skin
- Physical therapy
- Using antibiotics for potential infections
Taking care of your feet and managing your pain is crucial. At Advanced Foot Care of NJ, LLC, Dr. Anant Joshi and his staff treat a range of conditions and are committed to providing results. To schedule an appointment, contact his office in Woodland Park, NJ, at 973-256-000.