Cold Feet / Raynauds / Chilblains
What you can do when you suffer with cold feet?
There are three principles regarding cold feet and associated syndromes. Looking at
- Understand – what happens when the feet get cold and then warm again
- Prevent – coldness or heating too quickly
- Protect – keep the feet dry and soft and address any underlying condition
Cold feet is a common Podiatric condition and one that can have many causes and outcomes. Ultimately much the advice is directed to prevention – trying to retain heat in the feet and avoiding exposure to the cold. Identification of any underlying problem is important as well as dealing with any complications of the fluctuations in temperature of the toes.
Whatever the cause, the small blood vessels are unresponsive to the changes in temperature. They will go white or purple when they get cold as the circulation slows down to preserve body heat. Feet and fingers are more exposed. It then takes time for the blood vessels to ‘open’ up again after being cold. This can cause inflammation and the redness and swollen toes commonly seen with chilblains. When the skin cells are heated they begin metabolising faster and require oxygen and release waste products. The circulation hasn’t returned to normal yet and hence the toxic build up in the tissues causes the sore chilblains.
The ears, nose, cheeks and hands can also be affected as well as the feet. The repeated and often prolonged exposure of the body part to the cold causes damage. Often there is an element of moisture or damp and this is commonly seen in the shoes/feet.
Chilblains (erythema pernio) is the name for this abnormal delay between the feet (or fingers) getting cold and warming up too quickly.
I have amassed the links below to various resources that are useful to explain the phenomenon and ways at which the condition can be aided.
My first link is to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists Chilblains page on their website that provides some information, prevention and treatment options.
The patient information website ‘Patient.info’ also has a comprehensive set of information titles regarding chilblains and a video to explain them too.
Below there is a link to the Scleroderma and Raynauds Support Group who can also suffer from Chilblains. They have produced a leaflet about chilblains here. Do look also
This is an underlying problem that can commonly cause cold fingers and toes. The affected digit goes white and can become sore. It can also take time for the circulation to return.
Here is the NHS patient link for this too. There is also a support group for scleroderma and raynauds syndromes. They have a Take the Test quiz that can help identify if you should seek extra help and advice.
Things you can buy
I have provided a range of sources of various items that can help. Understanding the reasons why you suffer with Chilblains or similar is important as well as being aware of the particular situations specific to you. During a Podiatric consultation many of these will be explored.
Here is a link to the SRUK support group shop. They sell silver impregnated gloves and socks that can help retain heat. There is a specific section about feet.
The Raynauds Disease.com website too has a plethora of items. These include Pedag Viva insoles that can help keep the feet warm. There are even electric socks and insoles that can be great at keeping the feet warm. Their entire foot range can be seen here. Similar insoles can be bought on Amazon and various sources on search engines if you are specific with search terms.
There are a variety of outdoor experts who supply an extensive range of socks that have insulation or heat and padding built in.
All details and links are provided to assist you in understanding and managing your cold feet. If you have been in for a consultation the specifics would have been discussed with you. This page serves to provide further information and recap as well as assist in finding the tools to manage your situation.
If you have not been in for a consultation then the information is provided as seen and the Podiatrist cannot assist in diagnosis or treatment options.
In all cases A&A Podiatrists take no responsibility for the information or links provided. The product suggestions enable you to see the range of items available. There will be many online retailers selling the same or similar items. There are no financial or other ties to the websites and if you order anything please ensure that you have read the information carefully and have spoken to the supplier to confirm that it fulfils your requirements.
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