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Frostnip & frostbite... keeping your toes warm(3 posts)

Frostnip & frostbite... keeping your toes warmPdxMark
Jan 23, 2004 10:00 AM
For awhile I have been half-thinking that I might have lightly frostbitten my toes bicycling, but never gave it serious thought. I finally decided to look up symptoms, and learned about frostnip (or stage 1 frostbite). It looks like I might have frostnipped my toes bicycling. It seems that they are now much more susceptible to it, too.

Here's what one site says frostnip looks like:

"Frostnip can cause the skin to look very white and waxy. The top layers of skin can feel hard, but the tissue underneath will still feel soft. There may be some numbness associated with frostnip. "
http://observe.arc.nasa.gov/nasa/earth/wind_chill/chill_frost.html

Here's another description:

Symptoms of frostnip include a pins-and-needles feeling and whitening of the skin. If you can, go indoors immediately. Frostnip can be reversed by blowing warm air on the area or soaking it in warm water. The skin may burn, tingle and redden as it warms, but there will no blistering and no permanent damage.
http://www.ssmhealth.com/internet/home/ssmhealth.nsf/Health+Topics/424EB14507B3590E86256D2000632DD8

These are great descriptions of my toes after a cold ride...

"Pins and needles" and burning feelings aptly describes how my toes feel in a hot shower after almost any cold ride. The thing is that "pins and needles" is not tingly, but actually a bit painful.

I think I'll need to get better about always wearing wool socks on cold rides, even commute rides, and using toes covers, too.

The next question is whether frostnipped toes are destined to other future ciculatory problems.
My experience was...PEDDLEFOOT
Jan 23, 2004 10:21 AM
...when I was a kid iceskating.I got frostbite on my toes and ever since then they have been very sensitive to the cold.I've also lost most of the feeling and movement in my little toe on both feet.If you are looking for advice on how to keep your feet warm my system seems to work great for me.I wear a thin sock liner for a base layer.I then use a Smartwool sock over that.I've found that the chemical toe warmers you can get at Target or Walmart work fantastic.I lay one on top of my toes (not underneath as the directions say).I then use MTB shoes instead of my road shoes.For the final layer I put on Pearl Izumi neoprene booties.It may seem to be overkill but for me I need all the insulation I can get.

By the way,thanks to whoever it was that gave me the tip on placing the toe warmers on top of the toes.That makes a big difference in ther effectiveness.

I hope this helps.
re: Frostnip & frostbite... keeping your toes warmFignons_ponytail
Jan 24, 2004 8:07 AM
I swear by the chemical toe warmers. I have chronically cold feet. No room in my road or mtb shoes for the toe warmers, though, so I put them on top of my toes on the outside of the shoe, then put the neoprene booty on. Easily good for 3-4 hours of warm toes at 20 degrees.