• Baby it's Cold Outside

    by Howard Kimmel, DPM
    on Jan 29th, 2019

The polar vortex and not the polar express is coming!! Like the rest of North East Ohio I have been watching the weather along with my son! It is very scary to see how cold it is going to get.Even 15 minutes of exposed skin can get frostbite. Nobody wants to go outside in the cold but if you do, what should you do about your feet. There are some patients that work outside, besides the cold the snow adds to it. Most of my patients that work outside already are prepared. They have the best waterproof boots, usually wear a couple of pairs of socks, and sometimes have foot warmers. My patient that is going outside to shovel snow, take the ice off the car, or play with their kids in the snow are usuall not prepared. What do YOU need to do to prevent frostbite? What exactly is frost bite?

Frostbite is an injury of the skin and the underlying tissue in which it is frozen. It is first cold then red then numb then pale. It is still possible to get it even under clothes. Sometimes the skin turns bluish gray. So what do you do to prevent it? First is layers; As far as socks are concerned, wool is actually better than cotton since it retains warmth better. Waterproof or Gortex boots are the best to have while you are outside. So what do you do if you get frostbite?

First off don't rewarm the skin until you are in a warm place. When you rewarm the skin it should be with something warm and gradual, not something with high heat. Next dress the area with a dry sterile dressing and put cotton balls between the toes. Do not rub the skin; most likely the skin will blister and by rubbing the skin it will blister. Finally Seek medical help immediately.

Author Howard Kimmel, DPM Dr. Howard M. Kimmel, DPM provides advanced care for foot problems for patients in Brook Park, Willoughby, and Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Kimmel offers wound care, orthotic devices, comprehensive foot and ankle surgery, and several other forms of Podiatric treatment at Buckeye Foot Care. He is the only podiatrist in the state of Ohio to have a residency in pediatric foot and ankle problems. Dr. Kimmel is dedicated to providing patients in Ohio with top-notch care for foot and ankle problems, wound care, and other related issues. He also continues to build on his knowledge of podiatry and remains up-to-date on the latest technology and treatments in the podiatry field.

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