Everybody experiences cold feet from time to time. The best treatment for cold feet depends on the cause of the condition. A variety of circumstances, including certain illnesses and lack of appropriate insulation, may lead to a cold feeling in your feet and toes. While simple self-help measures may return the feeling of warmth to your feet, certain medical conditions may require professional treatment.
Cold temperatures can cause discomfort in fingers and toes. Cold environments cause your peripheral blood vessels to constrict, making your toes fingers and toes feel colder than the rest of your body. If other symptoms, such as pain, numbness and tingling, occur at the same time, without exposure to cold temperatures, you may be suffering from a medical condition.
Raynaud’s disease is an ailment that causes some individuals to experience sensations of extreme cold during minor temperature changes. In addition to making your feet feel chilly, this disease may cause your toes to take on a bluish tinge. Your toes may hurt and throb as they warm up. Atherosclerosis may also cause your feet to feel cold. This condition refers to a thickening of the arteries that causes blood vessels to narrow, leading to poor circulation in your feet and lower legs.
Allowing your feet to become too cold can pose a risk of frostbite, a condition that can cause permanent damage to your skin and toes. Individuals with diabetes may experience a higher risk of foot injuries, due to lack of sensation in the lower limbs. Infections can develop easily in wounds on the feet.
Provide adequate insulation to protect your feet against cold, especially when spending time in freezing temperatures. MayoClinic.com recommends purchasing shoes slightly larger than normal to allow for thick thermal socks. Layering two pairs of thinner socks may also provide extra insulation around your feet. If you suffer from Raynaud’s disease, exercise regularly to increase the circulation to your feet. Avoid caffeine, a substance that narrows your blood vessels and can increase your sensation of coldness. Soaking your cold feet in warm water can help ease discomfort.
Talk to your doctor if you notice a sudden change in the sensation of your feet, including feelings of coldness. Your doctor may want to perform tests to determine the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medications that help dilate your blood vessels and promote circulation. Surgery and chemical injections may also reduce the sensation of coldness.