Recognizing Frostbite

The following is an excerpt from the article, “Winter Weather: Frostbite” for more information please visit cdc.gov.

  • Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing.
  • Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.
  • Seek medical care if you think you have frostbite.

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Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

Recognizing Frostbite

At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect
any exposed skin—frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:

  • a white or grayish-yellow skin area
  • skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • numbness

A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.

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