Protect Your Feet From Frostbite: MD Podiatrist

As the temperature plunges and cold winds blow, so does the risk of frostbite. Skin exposed to extreme cold can develop frostbite in as little as five minutes, said podiatrist Daniel Michaels, DPM. Though frostbite can happen to anyone, some conditions can make a person more susceptible: if you have diabetes, take blood thinners, or smoke, your circulatory system may not work as efficiently or you may suffer from neuropathy, which means you have lost some feeling in your extremities. Poor circulation and neuropathy put you at higher risk for developing frostbite.
Dr. Michaels said one of the first signs of frostbite can be skin that is itchy, burns, or is numb. The skin also may turn white or greyish yellow, and as more damage occurs, feel waxy or hard. At its most severe, frostbite can cause blistering and even gangrene. The key to staying safe from frostbite, Michaels said, is just to be aware of any signals your body may be sending.