When you go skiing, do your feet develop painful purple swollen areas which are painful to the touch? You may have developed chilblains, a foot problem that varies in severity. Though not typically a major problem, they may be a symptom a more serious concern. Here's how to avoid them while on the ski hill and what to do if they keep recurring.
What Are Chilblains And What Causes Them?
Chilblains are small swollen areas on your toes that typically occur when the temperature is cold. The cold causes the veins in the feet to narrow, causing the blood supply to get very low. When the skin warms up again, fluid leaks from vessels into the tissues around your feet to cause swelling. They typically occur when a person warms up their foot too quickly after being cold.
When you're skiing, they're most likely to occur if you take off your boots while on the hill and replace them or if you get snow in your boot and your foot gets cold and warms up when the snow dries. Avoiding chilblains on the ski hill is relatively easy.
Keeping Your Feet Warm When On The Ski Hill
If you have ever suffered from chilblains, there's a chance you'll likely fall victim to them again. Keeping your feet warm while you ski is the best way to avoid this problem. Follow these simple steps to keep chilblains out of your life:
- Put several layers of socks on your feet in the ski lodge before putting on your boots
- Completely dry out your boots, including the interior, before you ski
- Slip a few foot warmers into the bottom of the boot to help promote warmer feet while on the ski hill
- Fully lace your boots all the way to the top, lace them tightly, and tuck your snow pants into your boots before leaving the ski lodge
If Chilblains Get Worse, See A Doctor
Typically, chilblains should disappear if you keep your feet dry and warm while skiing, but if they continue to persist, get worse, or develop even with warm and dry feet, see a doctor immediately. Chilblains shouldn't make it difficult for you to walk, and if you suffer from signs of blistering and ulceration, a more serious problem could be impacting your feet.
Often, circulation problems in the feet will cause chilblains to appear and to get worse. Circulation problems like this may be indicative of blockage in the veins of your feet or other concerns. If your chilblains don't disappear after you get home from skiing and you've warmed your feet, go to a podiatrist.
They will examine the problem and help you decide if a more serious solution needs to be implemented. Thankfully, treatment for this condition is possible. Contact a company like Foot & Ankle Care Center PA to learn more.