Frostbite is a dangerous condition that arises if the skin and tissues below freezes. The indications include tingling and numbness. The skin might even turn hard and pale. If the individual could not seek immediate medical care, the necessary steps must be taken to alleviate the symptoms. It is vital to seek medical care as soon as possible for further help.
- Move the individual out of the cold as soon as possible. A warm blanket should be placed over the area affected by frostbite.
- Using a small tub, fill it with warm water. Make sure that the temperature must not go beyond 104-108 degrees F. Carefully immerse the affected area in water not more than 15-30 minutes. Briefly remove the affected area from the water if the warmth triggers discomfort.
- Moisten a washcloth using water in room temperature. Apply the cloth on the affected area for 15-30 minutes. Remember not to rub or wipe the area. Monitor for the formation of skin lesions or blisters.
It is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible. If there are any wounds, pain or redness, it should be noted and report it to the doctor.
Frostbite during cold weather can be prevented by putting on several layers of clothing and paying close attention to the face, ears, feet and hands.
Always remember not to rub the area affected by frostbite since it only results to further damage. If the feet are affected, avoid walking since this can lead to further complications. In addition, avoid exposure to extreme heat. The affected area should be warmed gradually to avoid any blistering.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on frostbite is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this cold-related injury, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.