Why do my toes itch when I come in from the cold?

Cold toes often itch when you warm them up because of something called chilblains. Chilblains are small, itchy, red bumps in your skin that appear when your body improperly reacts to cold and rewarming. No one is exactly sure what causes them. It seems that rewarming can sometimes allow tiny blood vessels in your toes to suddenly expand before the larger vessels they are attached to can handle it. Fluid then leaks into surrounding tissues, creating little bumps and red, itchy skin. You may feel like your feet are burning. In extreme cases, this can actually cause blistering or lead to ulcers.

The best way to avoid all this is to limit your skin’s exposure to extremely cold temperatures, especially for your hands or feet. Wear warm socks and appropriate footwear to protect your digits. Avoid being outside in winter for too long. When your feet do get cold, warm them up gradually and carefully. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. is happy to help you take care of cold toes and deal with chilblains or other issues. Call (303) 805-5156 or use our online forms to contact our Parker, Castle Pines, and Cherry Creek, CO, offices.
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC