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Frostbite?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
After skiing for about 5 hours on a cold day in Colorado(at least -10 with wind chill, probably lower at the top) I noticed that my toes were an unsettling shade of blue after taking off my boots on socks.
After about 1 hour they finally thawed out. Fast forward to today and I notice that I have a noticeable lack of sensitivity on the tip of my right big toe. Is this loss of sensitivity permanent? Has anyone else experienced this?

I am starting to think that boot heaters might be a wise investment considering that this has happened a few times this season. I remember one time holding my frozen toes against the car heater on full blast for about 15 minutes until they thawed out!

I prefer to keep my toes...
post #2 of 16
Usually frostbite is really pale near-white.

Might want to work on boot fitting/footbeds before blowing $$ on a heat system. I ski in super cold temps all the time and never have any problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skier-X85 View Post
I remember one time holding my frozen toes against the car heater on full blast for about 15 minutes until they thawed out!
That's probably the worst thing you can do.
post #3 of 16
You will get the feeling back eventually, but you will be probably be more susceptible to freezing in the future so you should always take a quick break every so often on cold days in the future. Boot heaters work fine, at least for awhile, but I've never had much success with them long term in the past (technical failures). Another alternative for really cold days is a boot cover. There are a few brands out there (neoprene, mostly) that zip over your boot and will keep your feet warm and the shell flexing properly. They're much less costly than heaters, and you'll always have them.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
In retrospect, yes I do agree that thawing my toes on the car heater was the worst thing I could do. I was cringing in pain from that with the rapid change in temp.

The front portion of my boot is really tight fitting. That combined with the cold probably gave me the cold toe problem.
post #5 of 16
this happened to me last season at Telluride. my right big toe still gets colder quicker than the rest (when i was riding later in the season with Bob Peters and Mrs. BP, i told them about what i believed to have been a bout of pre-FB and Mrs. BP concurred that i had indeed suffered such a malady and that the affected extremities would be more susceptable to getting cold/FB in the future...seems she'd had the same thing happen to either her toes or fingers, i can't recall which).

since then i've spoken to skiers who have lived in TRide and JH and they've gotten me intrigued by boot heaters (one kid told me if it weren't for the heaters he would have quit skiing years ago).
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skier-X85 View Post
In retrospect, yes I do agree that thawing my toes on the car heater was the worst thing I could do. I was cringing in pain from that with the rapid change in temp.

The front portion of my boot is really tight fitting. That combined with the cold probably gave me the cold toe problem.
Get boots fitted. I skied in -25 all weerk and never had cold feet once. My old boot were like yours cold all the time. Youll probably loose your toe nail it will turn black and in a few months you can just pull it off. It will grow back but untill you fix the boot or buy new ones this will happen every year. Been there done that. If it cold you can put a toe warmer across the smaller toes. They fit in your boot with care stuck to the top of your socks. They arnt realy noticable, very thin but will keep your toes nice and toasty no matter what the temps.
It sounds like a circulation problem the way your boots fit though. What boots are they? Your toes shouldnt be touching the end of the boot.
Also the buckle across your mid foot {over your arch} if to tight will cut circulation. Save your self the expense and pain and see a good fitter in your area. It will be night and day.
post #7 of 16
I did the same thing with new - improperly fitting - boots at Beaver Creek a few years ago. It took about a year and a half to get all of the feeling back in one of my toes. It's as good as new now.
post #8 of 16
I laugh at your -10 "wind chill"

Your toes turned what? BLUE???

That's a new one to me...

In my experience frost nip/bite usually goes from red to white to black...

I've never seen blue, and I've had some black on both of my big toes a couple of times.

for boot warmers!!

After severely frost biting (to the level of black skin on the entire tip of the toe) both of my big toes, I invested in some Hottronics. I found that my toes were beginning to go numb on 20 degree days, when they used to be fine.

Once you freeze something, it will be much more likely to freeze again, easily. Do whatever you can to prevent it!

My hottronics are great, and I am considering bootgloves as well. But that'll only be for REALLY cold days... not some -10 windchill bs.

The coldest days 'round here hit -25 to -35 F PLUS the wind. When they factor that in it approaches -50 or -60.
post #9 of 16
Why does no one on earth seem to understand windchill.

Windchill is the apparent temperature felt on exposed skin.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I don't mean to sound like an a$@, but I am not really concerned with what you can and can't withstand JayPowHound. -10 is damn cold to me and if my toes turned blue and you have not heard of that then oh well, now you have.

Also, I might not have the best cirulation in my extremities, so that might explain why some of you may not have a problem in
"-25 degree" weather whereas I would have the same relative "comfort" in say 20 degrees. Its all relative...

Thanks everyone for the advice, I will look into your advice and see a bootfitter before spending money on a heating system. Altough, I have to say warm boots sounds quite tempting.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
Usually frostbite is really pale near-white.
Yep. Which turns angry red like a burn - feels like a burn too - when it warms up. Then if you're really lucky, your toenails turn black and fall off, and you get permanent cold sensitivity. Note: If your toes themselves turn black and fall off, definitely frostbite.

But sounds more like circulation loss from boot pressure, specially the loss of sensation. Which can also make your toes cold. Solutions: 1) Good boot fitter. 2) Smartwool. 3) Bootgloves and embrace being labeled a gaper. 3) Surgery to remove offending extremities.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Note: If your toes themselves turn black and fall off, definitely frostbite.
Thanks for the tip! I will be sure to keep that one in mind

My left toenail is killing me right now when I walk and it is turning a slight shade of blue(last time I checked). Guess I will wave bye to that toenail soon.

How much does it usually cost to get boots fitted? Now that I think about it, you might be right as I can feel quite a lot of pressure on the tops of my toes with the boots barely buckled. Apart from this though the boots are great!
post #13 of 16
Real frostbite involves swelling and red-black recovery.

That said, one winter after enough cold spells my big toes went numb until August. WTF, they got better.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by karpiel View Post
Why does no one on earth seem to understand windchill.

Windchill is the apparent temperature felt on exposed skin.
It's not that I don't understand... it's that a -10 Windchill indicates the actual temp is probably around or above 0. I was simply saying that this is not THAT cold...
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skier-X85 View Post
After skiing for about 5 hours on a cold day in Colorado(at least -10 with wind chill, probably lower at the top) I noticed that my toes were an unsettling shade of blue after taking off my boots on socks.
After about 1 hour they finally thawed out. Fast forward to today and I notice that I have a noticeable lack of sensitivity on the tip of my right big toe. Is this loss of sensitivity permanent? Has anyone else experienced this?...
I got frostbite on the tip of my right big toe during a day of skiing in single digit temps last month. What was different from your experience was that I was using boot heaters. The batteries in the heater pack on the right boot died at 3:00 PM but I continued to ski until 4:00 PM. That was a bad decision because that is when I got the frostbite.

One thing to be careful about with boot heaters is that they could make your toes sweat more than they otherwise would. When the batteries die, which is likely to happen if you ski a whole day, the sweat could freeze, and then you are really in trouble.

My toes are now very sensitive to the cold. Without heaters, they were freezing last week in 40F temps on the slopes. Now I am using both the boot heaters and disposable chemical toe heaters on the top of my feet. I also bought two Therm-ic heater packs that can open so I can swap out the batteries with fresh ones during the day.

Hope this helps.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skier-X85 View Post
Also, I might not have the best cirulation in my extremities, so that might explain why some of you may not have a problem in
"-25 degree" weather whereas I would have the same relative "comfort" in say 20 degrees. Its all relative...
My girlfriend has Raynaud's, which causes her extremities to turn a lovely shade of blue, even when it's not super cold out. This is the description of it I found on one web site:

Quote:
"During a typical Raynaud’s attack the affected area may first become white (pallor) as the blood supply is reduced, then blue (cyanosis) as the oxygen supply to the area is depleted, followed by bright red (rubor) as the blood returns to the area (reactive hyperemia). Raynaud’s disease, by definition, involves three color changes. However, they do not always occur in the same order for all people all of the time nor do all three changes always occur in a given attack."

Worth looking into...

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