Signs of Frostbite that You Should Not Ignore

Signs of Frostbite that You Should Not Ignore

As the extreme cold time of the season is approaching, it is good to know the symptoms of frostbite. Although every person’s skin tolerance levels are different. But in extreme weather, it’s easier for the skin to contract. Here are basic signs and symptoms of frostbite that you should not ignore.

Reddish sore skin

You may see reddening of skin or soreness on joints. The most common areas where frostbite may hit you are toes, cheeks, nose, ears, and chin. Turning these red means that its an initial sign of frostbite.

Quickly find a shelter so that it heals on its own.

Tingling or prickling feeling on the skin

If your body is not sufficiently warmed, the frostbite may hit you right away. At this point, any part of the skin exposed to cold may feel numb. You are also much likely to feel itchy, burning or prickling feeling on the skin.

It is due to the numbness that many people are unable to identify the signs of frostbite. Pay attention to these small changes in your body before it goes worse.

Hard texture of the skin

An extremely long exposure to the cold will turn the skin harder. It may possibly damage the tissue as well. For some people, it starts to look shiny or waxy and needs immediate treatment.

If you warm up your body at this initial stage on purpose, water or blood-filled blisters are much likely to form. It is necessary to seek a medical treatment so that no severe damage shows up.

If you ignore it, the constant exposure to the cold will take you to extreme level frostbite where the body tissue dies.

What to do when you experience frostbite?

Here are a few things that you can do.

Warm up

The initial signs of frostbite is a hint that your body needs warmth immediately. If possible, move to a warmer temperature and soak the affected area in warm water. If this is not possible, cover the affected area with a warm washcloth for a few minutes. It will help the body to maintain the temperature.

Due to numbness of the skin, you may not feel the temperature of water. It is better is a friend or family member is helping you with this. Once you see your skin turning pink and you experience a prickly sensation, it’s a sign that your blood flow is regulating again.

Prevent frostbite to hit you again

It is necessary to keep frostbite aside especially when it has already hit you once. Bundle up in layers of cloth, keep your body dry, insulate and warm. If you start to sweat due to these layering, unzip your upper coat to dry it.

Stay hydrated

Did you know that dehydration increases the risk of frostbite? It means whether or not you are thirsty, drink water before going out in a harsh environment especially before a physical activity.

Do not eat or drink anything that makes your body dehydrated. Additionally, eat properly before going anywhere to keep your body warm naturally.

Keep moving

When you are outdoor for a long period and the temperature starts to affect you, keep your body moving. This constant movement will make your body warm.

Try doing jumping or moving your limbs to regulate blood circulation. It will help you to stay warm. Just don’t overdo it as you may run out of energy. Keep on a moderate physical activity.

 

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The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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