First Aid For Frostbite

When exposed to very cold temperatures, our skin and the tissues underneath may freeze. This results in frostbite.

The most common body parts to be affected by frostbite are the hands, feet, nose and ears. Frostbite is characterized by a hard, pale and cold condition of the skin. As the affected area thaws, the flesh becomes red and painful.

If you ever catch frostbite, you should do the following:

First and foremost, get out of the cold.

Try to warm your hands by tucking them under your arms. If it’s your nose that got frostbitten, cover it with dry, gloved hands to keep it warm.

Never rub snow on the frostbitten area.

If there’s a possibility of refreezing, do not let the affected areas thaw. If they are already thawed out though, wrap them up so they do not refreeze.

When to call emergency medical help

If the affected areas remain numb during warming, call emergency medical help. If you think medical help won’t be able to reach you immediately, warm frostbitten hands or feet in warm water. As for other areas such as your nose, cheeks, or ears, keep them warm by covering them with your hands or warm clothes.

Source: MayoClinic