FrostbiteWhat You Need to Know about Frost Bite!

When people hear about frostbite, most think of blue skin from being so cold. And yes, your fingers and toes can turn a blueish grey, but we are going to explore what frostbite is and more importantly, how you can avoid it.

What is frostbite?

"Frost Bite" is freezing of skin and tissues such as fat, muscle, and bone.

How do you prevent frostbite?

You can prevent frostbite by avoiding exposure to extreme cold. When you have to be outside during the winter months, there are steps you can take to avoid your risk.

What steps can you take to avoid the risk of frostbite?

  1. Layer up and leave some room between layers to trap warm air.
  2. Protect your feet with properly fitting, insulated boots and moisture-wicking socks.
  3. Protect exposed skin by wearing gloves or mittens, hats, scarves, face mask, etc.
  4. Eat and stay well-hydrated.
  5. Stay out of the wind.
  6. Watch for signs and symptoms of frostbite.

What are the signs and symptoms of frostbite?

  1. Redness.
  2. Pain in the affected area.
  3. White, waxy patches in the affected area.
  4. The affected area may feel numb or tingling.

What intervention to take should you develop signs and symptoms?

  1. Get into a warm room.
  2. Do not walk on frostbitten feet unless absolutely necessary.
  3. Loosen or remove tight clothing and/or jewelry.
  4. Slowly re-warm affected area by using body heat or immersing in warm water. Do not use hot water.
  5. Do no rub area or apply heating pads as this will increase tissue damage.

When should you get medical help for frostbite?

  1. When you have swelling and/or blistering or peeling of an affected area.
  2. When your extremities are in severe pain.
  3. When the color and/or feeling of an affected area does not return shortly after an intervention.

Kleinert Kutz hand specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (502) 561-4263 for hand emergencies or to schedule an appointment.

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