Frostbite: the image isn’t pretty, and neither is the real deal. In fact, it is a very dangerous condition, to which people have lost fingers, toes, and more. The National Weather Service said, “frostbite and hypothermia can set in quickly at temperatures below minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Frostbite is when body tissue is damaged when exposed to dangerously cold conditions. Frostbite, in its severe cases, can cause blisters, dead, black tissue(known as gangrene) and damage to tendons, muscles and even bones, says the National Institutes of Health.
Frostbite most commonly affects the parts of the body that are apt to be more exposed to the elements, such as the nose, fingers, ears and toes. Those who are homeless or are hunters are especially at risk for getting frostbitten, as are elderly people and those under the influence of alcohol. Early signs of frost can include numbness and lack of color in parts of your body, as well as redness and a prickling feeling in your skin, which can also throb or ache. When thawed, the skin becomes red and painful. Here are seven different ways in which you can protect yourself from becoming frostbitten:
- Keep your extremities warm. Thick mittens, thick socks and a good winter hat can help.
- Keep your face and every part of your skin covered; use a thick scarf or a face mask to cover your face.
- Mittens, rather than gloves are better at keeping heat in, so opt for them.
- Layer on the clothing, even more than you think you need.
- If you are outside in the elements and are wet, get inside as quickly as possible, since you can become frostbitten much faster if you’re wet.
- Make sure your hat fully covers your ears. These are extremities, just like any others.
- Keep off the “warming” alcohol-it can trick you into feeling warmer on the inside and imprudently shedding layers that should be protecting you. Your skin is still at risk if it’s exposed, no matter how warm you feel.
Source: International Business Times