In this cold weather, we need to be weary of some cold weather hazards such as frostbite. This cold weather needs proper socks to protect your feet, but sometimes cold weather injuries occur and mostly affects extremities, such as fingers and toes, and sometimes ears and nose. The skin is made up of the outer layer, or the epidermis, and the deeper layer, or the dermis. Frostbite will affect all layers of the skin, but to a differing degree. In first degree frostbite, the first thing you may feel is stinging or burning, followed by pain and/or numbness. This pain with sometimes throbbing may or may not go away when the area is rewarmed. The skin sometimes appears reddish or whitish in color. The tips of your toes may feel hard or stiff in the areas of discoloration, and the stiffness may remain after rewarming. In second degree frostbite, the tips of your toes may remain blue, and they may feel frozen to touch and hard. There also may be blisters, sometimes fluid filled or hardened, at the tips of the toes. In third degree frostbite, the tips of the toes may appear blackened and may not change color upon being rewarmed. This signifies irreversible tissue damage, and a visit to the doctor is needed immediately. For more tips on keeping your toes warm in this weather, see Dr. Arain speak about foot tips here. If you think you may have frostbite, or you are not sure and want to get it checked, visit our clinic at Prairie Path Foot and Ankle right away. It is better to have it checked out ASAP.
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