Welcome to podiatry at Stourside, Winter 2021

When feet get cold, they are miserable, and many pairs are walking into clinic now! Here is some winter footcare advice from Lois Oakley, specialist podiatrist.

As the weather changes and we all need to wrap up warm, few of us avoid cold feet and commonly - chilblains!

What are they?

They develop due to the skin’s abnormal response to cold and are small, itchy swellings on the skin with a reddish appearance which can become very painful. The tiny blood vessels under the skin constrict when it is cold reducing the blood flow until the area warms up. This causes some leakage of fluid into the surrounding tissues. 

Chilblains can occur on the toes, fingers, ear lobes and the nose. Once the blistering has dried out, the skin is scaly and dry which is susceptible to cracking.

Who gets them?

Not everyone you will be pleased to know.

Susceptible people with poor circulation and other health problems involving their blood vessels are more prone to developing chilblains. If left untreated sores (ulcers) can develop which can become infected.

How to prevent them?

Wrap up and wear warm clothing- this can make a difference to overall body warmth, especially if your mobility is restricted.

Wear roomy shoes/boots that cover the foot (so you can wriggle your toes) and fleecy, woollen socks and tights. Always wear a hat and gloves when you go out.

At home do not sit too close to the fire or sit with your feet on a hot water bottle. And avoid drafts. Cover your legs with a throw as this will keep them warm, especially if the temperature drops at night.

Massage your feet and legs with your favourite moisturiser every night to help with the circulation. This will help with the dryness of the skin and keep it supple.

When do I see a podiatrist?

If you are concerned and your normal foot care has not resolved the problem naturally after about two or three weeks. If you have any footcare concerns, please visit the Stourside podiatry clinic for further advice and treatment options. We look forward to meeting you.

Podiatry at Stourside is part of the Foot Health Team.

Lois Oakley January 2021.

Share this article