Winter Foot Tips
In the colder seasons, it is very important to ensure you take extra care of your feet to prevent Chilblains. Those who suffer from Raynaud’s phenomenon are encouraged by podiatrists to take extra care.
Chilblains occur when your blood vessels start narrowing which means your toes have a reduced blood supply. The reduced blood supply causes a change in the colour of the toes and they start to become a pink/purple colour. Toes may also start to itch and become uncomfortable. Applying a lotion to sooth the skin such as witch hazel or calamine can help with this. Eventually the symptoms will lessen over time and toes will go back to their usual colour.
When returning to the warmth after being in the cold, allow your toes to warm up slowly. The best way to do so is by using your core body temperature to warm up gradually and not sitting in front of the fire of using a hot water bottle.
Taking care of your feet is important. Moisturising your feet to stop the skin splitting is encouraged. If the skin breaks, apply a dressing to help with the risk of infection. If you do have an infection it is very important to visit a podiatrist who will be able to apply dressing and treat as accordingly.
Keeping your fingers and toes warm is very important if you have Raynaud’s phenomenon. You should ensure you wear gloves, thick socks and well insulated shoes to make sure your fingers and toes do not get cold rather than letting them go cold and then warming them up. Raynaud’s works quickly so it is normal to lose the touch sensation in your fingers and toes. However, this feeling will return over time as your fingers and toes start to warm.
If you are out in the cold weather, you should check that you are wearing insulated footwear to ensure your feet are warm for a few hours. Wellington boots are usually made of plastic with a thin sole and therefore do not have enough insulator properties to keep your feet warm in the cold weather. Walking boots and shoes usually have a thicker sole, are waterproof and have a liner which traps heat making them perfect for winter!