Advertisement

When is a frost bite skin injury serious?

Frostbite, a skin injury that occurs from prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, generally heals on its own when treated with first aid. However, frostbite can occasionally be serious. If you think you might have frostbite, first try to treat it at home by warming the affected areas using warm water. 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 may warm your skin unevenly or may burn your skin, particularly if it's numb and you cannot tell how hot your skin is getting on the surface. If the skin turns pink and begins to tingle, blood is again beginning to circulate.
If the area stays numb, however, or you experience sustained pain, your frostbite may be severe. To treat this type of frostbite, you will need advanced medical care. Severe frostbite can result in a variety of complications, including numbness and gangrene.

Continue Learning about Frostbite

What is frostbite?
HCA VirginiaHCA Virginia
Frostbite is an injury to the body that can occur when you spend too much time in below-freezing tem...
More Answers
What increases my risk for frostbite?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Smoking and alcohol use can make individuals more susceptible to frostbite. Additionally, those who ...
More Answers
What should I do if I have frostbite?
HCA VirginiaHCA Virginia
Follow these steps to treat frostbite while waiting for medical care: Get into a warm room as so...
More Answers
Should I talk to my doctor about my frostbite symptoms?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
You should see a doctor about your frostbite if you have lost all sensation in the exposed area, if ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.