Did you know that nearly half of all frostbite cases involve the foot and ankle? That is a staggering figure, but avoiding frostbite and treating it quickly are both important lessons we can learn.
According to your podiatric physician, the most effective way of dealing with frostbite is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. If you know you will be exposed to the cold weather, following these tips can literally save your toes:
- Drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol, and dress appropriately.
- If you begin to feel pain, numbness or tingling in your feet, get out of the cold as soon as possible.
- Seek professional help as soon as possible from your podiatric physician for any foot or ankle related concerns.
Prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures can lead to severe injury if proper treatment is not provided in a timely manner. Signs and symptoms of frostbite include:
- Pain or prickling progressing to numbness.
- Pale, hard, and cold skin with waxy appearance.
- Flushing due to blood rushing to area after it is re-warned.
- Burning sensation and swelling from collected fluid that may last for weeks.
- Black scab-like crust, which may develop several weeks later.
Mild frostbite is treated by re-warming that affected are, washing it with an antiseptic, and applying a sterile dressing. If medical care is not available immediately, seek shelter and re-warm a mildly frostbitten area in a warm water (101-104 degrees F) or by repeatedly applying warm cloths to the area for 30 minutes. Never use hot water, fire, a heating pad, or other dry heat because these methods may burn the skin before the feeling returns.
Frostbite is a very serious injury that can involve significant damage to the feet. In severe cases, surgery may even be necessary, depending on the depth and extent of tissue damage. Therefore, prompt diagnosis and proper treatment by a Milwaukee WI podiatric physician is essential.
At Milwaukee Foot and Ankle Specialists, we have the most cutting edge and innovative technology available. By having digital scanning technology for orthotics, digital X-rays, digital diagnostic ultrasound, laser for removal of toenail fungus & more all in office and available in a moments notice allows you to save time and money.
We look forward to helping you!