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September 29, 2013
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The cold weather is just around the corner.  Our feet, being the furthest body part from the heart, is susceptible to the cold.  Exposure to cold can lead to frost bite.  This is a resulting tissue damage that in extreme cases can lead to gangrene and amputation.  Many people would be amazed that frostbite can set in after only a few minutes of exposure to very cold temperatures.   This occurs even faster if moisture is involved such as can happen easily with snow or rain.  People with circulation issues are even more at risk.  Some people who generally have good circulation have conditions like Raynaud's syndrome which causes the blood vessels to close down when exposed to cold temperatures.  People who smoke are also at high risk.  Moderate aerobic exercise on a regular basis can do wonders to increase circulation to the extremities.  If you find you are exposed to cold temperatures resulting in pain or numbness to the feet it is important to get to a warm area.  The feet can then be soaked in warm water.  Do not put your feet in hot water or tissue damage may result.   Warm them gradually.   Prevention is the best way to go.  Always be conscious of your surroundings and wear warm socks and shoes.  If the socks or feet get wet it is important to get out of the cold and change your socks and warm those feet.  I have seen frostbite fairly often at East Avenue Podiatry and I have also seen partial loss of feet as a result.   Be safe!

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