Anyone who wants to be beautiful has to suffer – or at least be weatherproof. There is no other explanation for the chilblains among us why many still walk around with sneakers and ankle-length jeans in winter when the temperature is below zero. Flanking – "flashing ankles", that is, showing the ankles – is tolerable and even pleasant in spring, summer and autumn. In winter, however, it can cause cold feet in two ways. Finally, some can fear catching a cold from their exposed ankles. Is the concern justified?
Doctors disagree on the winter flanking trend. The doctor Frank Fechteler told Stylebook that the bare ankles could weaken the immune system. In an interview with RTL, his colleague Suso Ledele assumes the opposite: In young, healthy people, cold feet could even strengthen the immune system. Both have their arguments. To understand and classify them, you have to know how the human immune system works. Here is a little digression.
Cold = cold?
The corona crisis has probably enormously improved our understanding of infectious diseases. We used to think that the cold was solely to blame when we catch cold, we now know that you have to be exposed to pathogens in order to catch diseases. This not only applies to Covid-19, but also to the classic cold. So if we trudge through the cold with bare ankles at -20 degrees, but don't meet a soul for weeks before and after, then the risk of catching a cold is zero. No matter how cold we are.
Now we can usually reduce our contacts, but not abolish them. Even the tallest hermits have to provide themselves with food somehow. In reality, having a strong immune system is a positive thing. And cold weakens this. If we freeze, whether on our hands, feet or our head, our whole body goes into cold mode. He then primarily focuses on supplying blood to the vital organs. This means that there are fewer immune cells in the nose and throat. The defense against viruses can sometimes fall by the wayside. At least in theory. Because even if it sounds plausible, it has not yet been scientifically proven that cold actually increases the rate of colds.
The fact that the cold season appropriately falls into the cold season can have other reasons. We spend more time in small, closed rooms with several people. The viruses can happily hop from person to person. We also like to turn on the heating. But it is precisely the warm, dry heating air that dries out our nasal mucous membranes, so that viruses can penetrate better.
What does this mean for the bare ankles?
If we freeze through our bare ankles and therefore switch the heating to the highest level when we come home, there is at least an increased risk of colds due to the dry heating air. But what about the theory that the cold ankles act as a kind of shock therapy and could even strengthen the immune system? Alternating cold and warm stimuli are supposed to strengthen the immune system, according to some experts. That's why many swear by cold showers or rolling in the snow after the sauna. It is only speculation whether the small free area of skin on the ankle can have the same effect. Ultimately, everyone has to find out for themselves how well they can handle the trend in the cold. Frostbite, who don't want to do without short jeans and sneakers, could also find a remedy with stylish socks.
How about these transparent striped socks from Asos?
Another good tip against cold feet: warm insoles. You can get them in many drugstores or in packs of ten for 17.52 euros on Amazon: