Health Tip – Jan. 27 – What is the Treatment for Frostbite and Frostnip?
Dee Dee – Health Tip
Symptoms of frostnip: white patches of skin that are numb. Symptoms of frostbite: skin that is white or grayish-yellow and feels hard, waxy, or numb, or is blistering or becoming darkened or black. Other symptoms include swelling, itching, burning, and deep pain during the rewarming/healing process.
Frostbite requires emergency medical care. If you think you may have frostbite, get out of the cold as soon as possible. If you cannot get medical help immediately and there’s no risk that the area might be re-frozen before you get help, warm the affected area as you would for frostnip.
CAUTION: If the affected area might be re-frozen before you get medical help, do not warm it; this greatly increases the risk of damage. Also, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Frostnip can be treated at home. If you think you may have frostnip, get out of the cold as soon as possible. If your clothes are wet, change into dry clothing. Immerse the affected area in warm water (100º to 105º Fahrenheit) to thaw the frozen tissue. Do not use hotter water, as this may burn your skin. If warm water is not available, use your own body heat by, for instance, tucking your hands into your armpits or covering your nose, ears or face with dry hands.
CAUTION: Do not rub the affected area because this may increase damage to the tissue. Do not use a heating pad, heat lamp, stove, fireplace, or radiator to rewarm the affected area. These methods may warm your skin unevenly or may burn your skin, particularly if it’s numb and you cannot tell how hot the skin is getting.
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