frostbiteWinter is NOT over! Those moderate temps are momentary during these seeming chinook days — the sort of thing that gets the maple sap running and makes us want to run out with no hats, gloves or warm shoes. After that ‘high’ of moderate temperature, there is a swift drop back to cold, cold.

Colder temperatures and the wind chill of sharp winter wind work together to add to risk of frostbite at a time when we least expect it. The experts tell us that when we begin to get cold, nature takes over to protect our body’s core by denying circulation (and heat) to extremities. Noses, ears, cheeks, fingers and toes are exceptionally vulnerable. They’ve also noted that some of the damage from frostbite, even mild frost nip, can be long term, even permanent.

At Hoosier Foot and Ankle , we’re here to help you should frostbite get a chance to strike, but we prefer that you not have to endure frost. Risks increase for people with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy or who are using certain medications such as beta blockers.

If you have to go out in the freezing weather and are tempted to try for a spring weather look we have a few suggestions that can help and still let you look avoid looking over dressed. Dry gloves and a ski band or light hat will fit in a coat pocket. A stylish scarf can be wrapped about your vulnerable face if that freezing wind kicks up. Long pants or jeans will protect your legs and ankles, while absorbent, cotton pants socks are often light weight and will work with stylish, comfortable shoes or boots that complement the jeans or slacks.

If you are unfortunate enough to get stuck in a freezing situation, look for protection from the wind and get inside as soon as possible. When you do get inside, do not panic and apply hot packs to cold extremities. A bath of warm water — not hot will help your circulation get going again without serious and more painful cellular damage.

I know that the cold weather seems to drag on and is frustrating. But, we’re seeing longer days and know the weather will eventually turn to spring. Remember your trees and flowers need the down time. And we benefit from weather that encourages us to slow down and get out of the rat race for a few hours. Be patient and remember to be prepared to take care of yourself by avoiding frostbite.