With winter moving in, cold feet would not seem like an unusual complaint but here at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we know that sometimes cold feet are actually the result of one of several possible medical conditions. It’s important to distinguish between weather-related cold feet and a chronic problem that needs the attention of our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco.
How do you know if your cold feet signal a medical problem? In addition to feeling chilly, there are other symptoms that may indicate a disorder:
· Skin discoloration—white, blue and dark red skin after exposure to the cold
· Blisters or ulcers forming on your toes or feet
· Itchy, red patches of skin
If you experience any of the above symptoms after being out in the cold and it takes more than 10 minutes for your skin to return to normal, you should make an appointment at our Somers Point office to get checked out. In most cases these types of disorders are associated with reduced blood flow and circulatory issues. In some cases, such as Raynaud’s phenomenon and chilblains, spasms occur in the blood vessels, which bring on the symptoms. Other possible causes include systemic disorders such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, fibromyalgia, lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Each of these requires different treatments and therefore it is important to see the podiatrist and get an accurate diagnosis of the source of your cold feet.
Although not normally a serious problem in and of itself, cold feet can lead to complications especially if you are diabetic. Ulcers and blisters that form from chilblains can become infected if not caught and treated promptly.
Although the foot doctor will instruct you on the specifics of dealing with your particular condition, if you are prone to symptoms triggered by cold temperatures, it’s a good idea to layer up with warm socks but avoid those that are tight fitting as this will further impede circulation. Limit your time in the cold and make sure you change socks and shoes as soon as you notice they are damp (either from weather or perspiration).
If you have additional questions about cold feet, contact us by calling: (609) 927-4894.