Winter foot care


Posted 21 Nov '20

Winter foot care


Raynaud’s and chilblains and are both common winter foot problems. Rather than digging out your thickest, fluffiest socks to hide your feet away- do something to look after them. Feet are often overlooked and deserve some attention.


Raynaud’s

Raynaud's disease,  is a vascular disorder characterised sensitivity to cold temperatures, leading to temporary narrowing of blood vessels, primarily in the fingers and toes. This constriction reduces blood flow to these areas, causing them to turn white, then blue, and finally red as circulation returns. Individuals with Raynaud's may experience numbness, tingling, or throbbing sensations during these episodes. Living in a city like London, where winters can be chilly, individuals with Raynaud's need to take extra precautions to keep their extremities warm. Wearing insulated socks, gloves, and proper footwear can help maintain warmth and prevent episodes. Additionally, managing stress through relaxation techniques or regular exercise can help minimise symptoms.

Most people think of this as a condition that only affects your hands but if your fingers are turning white and losing sensation then that might also be happening to your toes. 

There are things you can try to avoid a Raynaud’s attack

  • Ensure your footwear doesn’t rub.
  • Chose a padded insole.
  • Moisturise your feet.
  • Book an appointment with us as we can advise on individual symptoms.

SRUK has more information and advice that you will find useful if you struggle with Raynaud's.


Chilblains

Chilblains, also known as pernio or perniosis, are a localised inflammatory response to repeated exposure to cold and humidity. They typically affect the toes, fingers, ears, and nose and manifest as red, itchy, swollen patches on the skin. Unlike frostbite, chilblains occur at temperatures above freezing and are more common in individuals with poor circulation or connective tissue disorders.

In London, where damp and cold weather are prevalent, chilblains can be a concern, especially for those who spend extended periods outdoors. To prevent chilblains, it's essential to keep the feet dry and warm, wear appropriate footwear, and gradually warm up cold extremities rather than exposing them to sudden heat. Chilblains can last for a few weeks which is frustrating and painful.

Prevention is better than cure

  • Stay active throughout winter to improve your circulation
  • Keep warm, wear gloves and warm socks. 

 

As  podiatrists, our aim is to empower individuals with knowledge and strategies to effectively manage these conditions, enabling them to lead fulfilling lives despite the weather's adversities. Febrauary is Raynaud's awareness month, by promoting proactive care, we can minimise the impact of these conditions and ensure that Londoners stay on their feet, comfortably navigating the city's bustling streets year-round.


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