|Frostbite takes place when skin and underlying tissues (mostly in hands, feet, nose and ears) freeze after getting exposed to a very cold temperature.
How do you know when you have frostbite?
If after being exposed to the cold, the skin becomes hard, pale and cold. Also, when the area thaws, it becomes red and painful.
What to do if you suffer frostbite?
- If possible, get to a warm environment.
- Try to warm frostbitten areas. Wrap affected areas with cloth.
- Do not defrost the frostbitten areas if there's the possibility that they might freeze once more, and if that happens, cover them up well so they won't refreeze.
- Don't rub or massage frostbitten areas.
- Never rub snow on the affected flesh.
- If numbness continues during warming, seek emergency medical assistance. While waiting for help keep severely frostbitten limbs in warm water (not in hot water) and cover other areas with warm cloths.
This information is provided by the NGHA Content Advisory Board and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your health care provider.