Whether you’re heading off to a snowy region this season or stepping into the elements just outside your door, make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the weather. It’s important to wear layers of warm clothes, but don’t forget your feet. Keeping your feet warm helps prevent cold weather conditions, such as frostbite.
Frostbite is a condition that can occur when skin is exposed to extreme cold, resulting in tissue damage and possible tissue loss. Your fingers, toes, and areas of commonly exposed skin like the nose and cheeks are at risk for frostbite. In the foot, frostbite typically develops in stages beginning with cold toes that then turn bright red in color. The color in the toes continues to change and darken into purples and blues and eventually black, indicating severe frostbite. If you have diabetic neuropathy, which causes loss of feeling in the foot, it is especially important you check your toes regularly for signs of frostbite.
Another symptom of frostbite is numbness in the toes; however, numb toes can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, metatarsalgia, and neuromas. Wearing tight shoes can also cause numbness in the toes.
If you are experiencing numbness in your toes, contact our office to schedule an appointment. If you suspect the numbness is due to frostbite, seek medical attention immediately.