If you’re from the Midwest, you’ve probably heard of someone who has gotten frostbite. The conditions for frostbite usually happen in cold, windy places. What is frostbite, how can you avoid it, and are there long-term effects if you ever get it?
What is frostbite?
- Frostbite occurs when your skin has been exposed to cold weather conditions, and the top layer of your skin begins to freeze. This is most common in the toes, fingers, ears, and nose.
Ways to protect yourself against frostbite.
- Stay aware of the weather and limit your time outdoors in the cold. Dress appropriately for cold weather conditions. Wear outerwear clothing that is windproof and waterproof, and make sure to cover all parts of your body.
What are the symptoms of frostbite?
- Cold Skin
- Numb/Tingling Sensation
- Skin Discoloration
- Fluid-Filled Blisters
When to seek medical help?
- If your symptoms are mild, you should try warming your hands in warm water.
- If you are experiencing increased pain, swelling, inflammation, or discharge from blisters in the frostbitten area, you should seek help from a medical provider. Frostbite is not always an injury that can be treatable, but it is good to get evaluated by a medical professional. Doctors can occasionally treat mild cases with an anti-inflammatory or pain reliever.
- You should seek emergency care if your hands remain cold and become hard. One thing to remember is that hypothermia comes hand in hand with cold conditions. Keep an eye out for these symptoms as well.
Are there long-term effects?
- There can be long-term effects from frostbite, such as pain or numbness in the frostbitten area.
If you think a person might be experiencing frostbite, seek medical help immediately. In the meantime, try to warm up the frostbitten area.