What is a Frostbite and How is it Treated?

What is Frostbite?

Frostbite refers to a condition where a part or parts of the body do actually get frozen due to exposure of the skin to extreme cold conditions.

Frostbitten hands

Frostbitten hands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which parts are affected by frostbite?

The most vulnerable parts of the body to frostbite are fingers, toes, nose and ears. These parts become numb and pale after frostbite and we can feel cold when we touch them. The dangerous situation of frostbite is that pain is not the symptom.

If frostbites are not treated immediately, the temperature inside the tissues may go on decreasing and the tissues may die due to reduced blood circulation to overexposed parts of the body which may lead to gangrene (death of tissue in the body).

Treatment for Frostbite:

In some situations, prompt treatment can restore blood circulation slowly. The parts which are frozen should be rewarmed slowly by covering with warm clothing or by soaking in lukewarm water. Hot water or heating pad should not be applied as it may worsen the condition because the tissues may get bruised easily. The affected parts should not be massaged or rubbed. In emergency situation, a doctor should be consulted for the assistance in restoring blood circulation and taking the patient to the hospital.

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