Frostbites a winter problem you can avoid


Frostbite is an injury that is caused by exposure of parts of the body to temperatures below 0°C. Your skin and underlying tissues may get affected/froze especially in the extremities part of your body (fingers, toes and feet)

Frostbites injuries are classified by the degree of injury and can go from first degree (affecting the epidermis) to fourth degree (affecting also deeper structures like muscles and bones)

When the human body is exposed to extreme cold, blood vessels narrow (constrict) so that blood (and oxygen) are diverted away from your extremities to your vital organs to keep your body alive. After some time, this lack of blood supply and oxygen to the skin can start to cause damage to the cells.

Can frostbite be prevented?

The most important way of preventing frostbite is to avoit cold. If you need to go out in the cold, make sure that you wear appropriate warm clothing:
(1) Wear mittens instead of gloves
(2) Your head, neck and face need to be covered if it is windy
(3) Wear waterproof clothing so that your body is kept dry.
(4) Wear multiple layers of clothing
(5) A warm pair of boots is also needed....

If medical assistance is not available, steps can be taken to treat frostbite and hypothermia:

(1) Avoid walking on frostbitten toes and feet as this can cause further damage and go to a warm place if possible
(2) Replace wet clothing with soft, dry clothing to stop further heat loss
(3) Warm the body by wrapping it in blankets and protecting the frostbitten parts
(4) Do not rub the affected area or apply direct heat (such as from a fire or heater) as this can cause further injury
(5) Do not allow the person to smoke as this can affect blood circulation
(6) Pay attention to the frostbitten areas. As your skin begins to rewarm itself, you should feel tingling and burning sensations. The frostbitten area should turn pink or red, but if your skin swell or blister it should be treated immediately by a doctor
(7) Apply dry sterile dressing to the affected area. To protect from infection and further risk of cold damage, gently wrap the rewarmed frostbitten areas in sterile cotton...