Frostbite occurs when body tissues freeze during exposure to low temperatures or cold winds. Fingers, toes, ears, and nose are the parts of the body most commonly affected by frostbite, as they are relatively difficult to keep warm in the cold. Frostbite can cause permanent damage to skin tissue. Therefore, you should always pay attention to weather conditions, wear appropriate clothing, and seek/ask for help immediately when you suspect you have symptoms of frostbite.
Part 1 of 3: Dress Properly
Step 1. Check the weather conditions before you go out
Take the time to look at the weather forecast and decide what kind of clothes you should wear. Preventing frostbite is closely related to preparing for everything possible. If you're going to be outside all day, like going hiking or waiting in line to buy concert tickets, a frostbite is possible.
Step 2. Make sure you're wearing enough clothing to cope with conditions when the temperature drops
Winter weather can be very unpredictable. Even if you're well-equipped for a moderately hot afternoon, you should also think about low temperatures at night, in case you run into a delay in an event.
Step 3. Be prepared for sudden blizzards or strong winds
Exposure to wet snow and cold winds will increase your chances of developing frostbite.
Step 4. Wear layers
People who used to spend a lot of time outdoors have developed some kind of dress system for dealing with cold weather. No matter how warm your winter coat is, it's still no more effective than clothes made up of several layers:
Step 5. For the first layer closest to the skin, apply a wicking material
Wicking is a kind of synthetic fabric that can keep the skin dry because it will absorb the moisture from the skin and then transfer it to the layer above it.
Step 6. Apply a warm material over the wicking cloth. Wool is a great choice. Never use cotton, as cotton doesn't dry quickly enough and doesn't provide good insulation.
Step 7. On the top layer, wear clothes that are suitable for the weather
You should wear a winter coat, raincoat, or a combination of the two on the outside to protect you from various influences.
Step 8. Re-check your clothes for any slack or gaps
Make sure there are no exposed areas where your skin is exposed to cold air. The areas where the pants and shirt meet, the wrists, ankles and neck are all areas prone to frostbite. Even for points that are not frostbite-affected areas, you should still take every precaution just in case.
Step 9. Make sure your t-shirt/underwear is in/tightly tucked inside the trousers
Step 10. Tuck the bottom of your trousers into the socks
Step 11. Tuck the bottom of the sleeve into the glove
Step 12. Provide extra protection for your head, hands and feet
These body parts are most often affected by frostbite. These three are the outermost parts of the body that do not benefit from the layers of warm clothing. Thus you have to provide extra protection on these body parts properly to keep them warm.
Step 13. Put on a warm hat and earplugs
Step 14. Protect your eyes and nose in extreme cold
You may need to wear a mask that skiers normally wear.
Step 15. Wear gloves that consist of two parts (one part for the thumb and another part for the remaining four fingers), and not gloves with five holes
Gloves that resemble boxer gloves are relatively warmer.
Step 16. Wear the right shoes and socks
If you anticipate getting wet, wear waterproof boots.
Part 2 of 3: Knowing When to Enter the Indoors
Step 1. Bring the children into the room every hour to warm up
Children are more susceptible to frostbite attacks, because they are not aware when the signs of an attack appear. A child may lose their gloves and end up with frozen fingers without warning. Bring children into the room often, especially in very cold temperatures, to ensure they are kept safe.
Step 2. Find shelter if you are in a storm or extreme cold
Frostbite can start attacking very quickly at low temperatures, when there is a strong wind or when it rains. If weather conditions change, seek shelter as soon as possible.
Step 3. Change clothes or enter the room immediately if you are already wet
Wet clothing that sticks to the skin has the potential to increase the risk of developing frostbite. Keep your clothes dry, especially socks and gloves. Bring spare socks and gloves, otherwise go inside the room to dry them when they start to get wet.
Step 4. Every hour, check your skin for frostbite
Take these precautions, especially if you are in very cold temperatures. Pay attention to your skin, pressing to feel the body part, and also moving your fingers and toes. Here are the stages and signs of a frostbite attack:
Step 5. Frostnip:
is the initial stage of frostbite symptoms. This attack causes a painful sensation and the skin turns red in response to pressure normally.
Step 6. Superficial frostbite:
is the second stage of frostbite which is characterized by numbness and the skin turns white or grayish yellow but still feels tender.
Step 7. Deep frostbite:
This is a very dangerous stage of frostbite, and requires immediate medical attention. Watch for numbness and the skin turns white or grayish yellow and feels waxy or unusually hard/stiff. At the same time, symptoms of dizziness, confusion/chaos and fever may also appear.
Part 3 of 3: Overcoming Frostbite
Step 1. Find a warm place as soon as possible
If you get some of the first signs of a frostbite attack, go inside the room and start warming up. Remove wet clothes and replace with dry ones or use thick blankets to warm the body. Drink warm drinks such as tea, hot chocolate or just hot water to return your body temperature to normal.
Step 2. Don't come back outside after you've warmed up
If you keep going outside, the affected body part will be vulnerable to further damage. Don't take risks just because you want to get back to skiing or hiking.
Step 3. If you can't find a warm room or it's too far away from a heated building, find a place sheltered from the wind and if possible call for help
Step 4. Soak the frostbite in warm water
Fill a large bowl or pot with warm water, then thoroughly soak the frostbite. Do not use hot water, because heating the skin too quickly has the potential to damage the underlying tissue. Soak the frostbite for 30 to 40 minutes.
Step 5. Ask someone who doesn't have frostbite to make sure the water is really warm (not hot)
People who have frostbite are most likely unable to sense the temperature precisely.
Step 6. After 30 to 40 minutes, the body part should feel good again and the skin color will return to normal
When the body's tissues begin to warm up, the patient generally immediately feels intense pain.
Step 7. Do not heat the frostbite in any other way
Rough handling of the network can do a lot of damage. Warm water should be the only mechanism used to normalize that part of the body. Pay attention to the following warnings:
Step 8. Do not rub the skin with your hands or use a towel
Step 9. Do not use a heater to dry, as numb skin will burn easily
Step 10. Ask a medical professional for help or visit a doctor to check for an injury
Frostnip may be treatable at home without needing further assistance, but anything beyond that can cause damage. If you experience some of the symptoms as below then you should get medical help:
Step 11. Scald Step 12. Loss of taste sensation Step 13. Pale or discolored skin Step 14. Disappointed with the affected part Step 15. Fever, feeling confused or dizzy
Step 11. Scald
Step 12. Loss of taste sensation
Step 13. Pale or discolored skin
Step 14. Disappointed with the affected part
Step 15. Fever, feeling confused or dizzy