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The feet and the cold. Causes and recommendations

January 5, 2018

With the arrival of winter and the fall of temperatures is very common that we find punctual problems in our feet and legs derived from the cold. In this post we leave several of the causes that can cause these complications, along with some tips to avoid them as far as possible.




The main causes are going to be associated with circulation problems. The cold has a direct effect on the blood vessels, because it produces a vasoconstriction (narrowing) that affects the flow of blood that circulates through our arteries and veins.


One of the main functions of blood on the feet is to keep them warm. If the blood reaches the entire sole of the foot and the fingers in a proper way, it produces a temperature regulation, increasing it when necessary. For example, an inadequate, red-purple, cyanotic color will indicate a problem in the circulation in the regulation of temperature.


Another cause of excessive cooling of the feet may be linked to a neurological problem. The sensitivity we have in the feet is responsible for giving the order to the circulatory system to increase blood flow and warm the most distal areas. If we have any disease that affects nerve conduction can generate a disorder of sweating and, therefore, produce a bad thermoregulation of the foot.


On the other hand, clear signs of problems due to the cold in the feet are the appearance of the famous chilblains (erythema pernio), an inflammation that occurs on the skin, accompanied by pain and itching due to the repeated effect of cold in the circulation.




On the other hand, as general advice we can say that:


- Mobilizing the feet when we are standing will give us greater muscular activation and, therefore, greater blood circulation.


- Wear cotton or wool socks in winter that warm well avoid the effect of cold.


- Use suitable shoes that waterproof the foot in situations that are required (rain, snow, etc.).


- Perform massages distally, that is, trying to get the blood to the feet by pressing the leg in the lower direction can help to activate something circulation.


In short, the cold can affect our feet and, in winter, we have to prevent as much as possible that this factor causes us various problems. It should be noted that the most important advice is that there is an attempt to find a specific cause that generates this circulatory or neurological problem in the feet. For this reason, it is necessary to consult the specialists in order to establish an adequate treatment.


Antonio Gómez

Podiatrist specialist in Biomechanics of Podoactiva Walqa

Training Department

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