Winter’s officially here in Greater Hartford and Middlesex counties and we at Connecticut Foot Care Centers want to give our patients the information they need to protect their feet and ankles during this chilly season.
Here are four suggestions to keep in mind this winter:
Prevent Frostbite. When your body is exposed to extreme cold for a significant period of time, frostbite can result. Usually, frostbite in your feet will occur in stages: toes may first turn bright red and over time darken to purple or blue and start to feel numb. Wear warm socks or multiple layers of socks if you plan to enjoy an outdoor winter activity. Limit the amount of time spent in the cold. If you suspect frostbite, immerse feet in warm—not hot—water and seek medical assistance immediately.
Avoid spills. Icy sidewalks, snowy parking lots and temperatures that drop suddenly all create the perfect storm for a slip or fall that can end in an ankle sprain or fracture. Wear the appropriate footwear for wintry weather and pay attention to where you’re walking. Icy patches can be difficult to detect in the dark. Keep areas around the entrance to your home cleared, salted and well-lit to avoid falls.
- Keep athlete’s foot away. Wearing heavy winter socks in your heated car, office, and stores can cause feet to perspire excessively. Being stuck in wet socks for long periods of time increases the risk of fungal infections. Dust feet with an anti-fungal powder at the beginning of the day and change your socks as soon as you notice that they feel damp.
- Don’t suffer sports injuries. If you enjoy winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating, check your equipment and especially your footwear to make sure they are in good condition and still fit properly. Consider taking a lesson or two if you are new to a sport to learn how to safely stop and navigate in the snow or on the ice. If you do sustain a foot or ankle injury, follow the RICE regimen of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, and promptly contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices.
Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. and Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will examine your feet and ankles and treat your foot or ankle injury.