Dr. Murray Hamlet, who is just back from a lecture tour in Nepal, offers some cold-weather reminders you might not have considered:
Skip fancy jewelry; metal conducts cold. Earrings are the greatest problem, and pierced earrings particularly conduct cold to the ears.
Metal eyeglass frames not only conduct cold but separate the ear from the head. Those who wear glasses are more prone to frostbite of the ears than those who wear contact lenses or have perfect vision.
Suspenders are better than tight belts, which may hamper circulation of warm, moist air.
Thick soles, or anything that you can stand on to get you off the snow or cold sidewalk -- even a piece of corrugated cardboard -- help a lot, even for a short wait at the bus stop.
Shave at night, to give facial oils a chance to return. Shaving peels off the outer layer of skin and in dry, cold air, results in raw and dried skin. Use a hand cream on the face. Growing a beard is helpful only in that it keeps one from shaving.
To heel chapped hands use Desitin or A and D Cream (both fish oil-based with vitamin A and D) at night and sleep in thin cotton gloves.
A thimbleful of olive oil in the last rinse when washing woolens keeps wool from scratching "and talking back to you."
And this, above all, says Hamlet: Forget alcoholic drinks or drugs as they may curb shivering, the involuntary mechanism that produces heat. "Drinking when it is cold," says Hamlet, "is like shooting yourself in the foot."