Question

Frostbite

What is the treatment for frostbite?

A Answers (5)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    1 086 04-1 Frostbite
    Keeping your body protected against ice and snow can ward off a bad case of frostbite. Learn how as Dr. Oz offers advice in this video on keeping frostbite away.



  • Treat frostbite by placing the affected areas in warm water. Keep the skin dry and protected to prevent re-freezing and further tissue damage. See your doctor as soon as possible so that they can further warm and treat the affected areas.

  • AJill Grimes, MD, Family Medicine, answered
    To treat frostbite, immerse in warm water and take NSAIDs (ibuprofen). Seek medical care immediately. Do not rub affected areas, as this may actually increase tissue damage.
  • ADonna Hill Howes, RN, Family Medicine, answered
    The severity of the frostbite will determine the course of treatment. For mild cases, treatment involves gradual warming of the exposed area. For more extreme cases, medical procedures may be required. You should consult a physician if you are experiencing symptoms of frostbite.
  • Do not allow the injury to refreeze after it is thawed. Wait until you are in an area where the tissue with frostbite won't freeze again before warming it. To rewarm, remove anything that might restrict blood flow to the area, such as tight clothing, rings, or a watch. Place the area in warm water at temperature between 99F to 102F. If warm water is not available, body warmth or insulation with blankets or towels can help warm the area. As the area thaws, tingling and pain is likely to occur. Do not rub the frostbitten area or massage it at all. This can cause more damage. Don't use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned. Finally, do not disturb any blisters that may have developed. If the frostbite is associated with hypothermia, treat the hypothermia first. Allow the body to return to a core temperature of 95 degrees before treating the frostbite. (This answer provided for NATA by the Marist College Athletic Training Education Program)
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