Snow, the serene white endless spread of white flakes, hot chocolate drinks, and children sledging down hills with rosy cheeks. Snow can be a mystery to people staying in hot climes, and so they are likely to be intimidated by the beauty of it. When in full glory the snow can be your plaything. However, sometimes Mother Nature has different designs. These soft flakes can freeze the life out of those without any precautions. In adverse situations like avalanches and bad weather, for every step that you take in the snow, the cold bites you. It stiffens your cheeks like a timber wood; the sensation in your toes and hands deadens. When the winds get stronger, you can’t sense the nose and the bitter cold freezes your heart. The frigid, icy, freezing snow cuts through the soul tearing you apart. This is frostbite, and can be a huge problem for people who do not frequently experience harsh cold weather, as well as for people who do winter camping, high-altitude climbing, snowmobiling, and hunting. Frostbite is the freezing of skin and damage to the underlying blood vessels upon exposure to extreme cold. The cold temperature and poor blood flow form a deadly combination that can cause tissue injury. Frostbite is most likely to happen in body parts that are farthest from the heart, and with the surface area exposed to cold. Read the article to know about the symptoms of frostbite.
Signs & Symptoms Of Frostbite
- In frostbites, the skin may feel numb or normal. It looks waxy and white, or lighter than usual. Frostbite is common in the toes, earlobes, cheeks, and fingers. When the skin is warmed after frostbite, it may turn red.
- Frostbite can affect any part of the body, like the tip of the nose, ear lobes and rim, fingertips, and toes.
- In mild frostbite, the tissue gets insensitive to touch, and feels supple. It looks lighter than normal, or even white. Blisters can also crop up. As frostbite progresses, or after the injured skin is warmed, the skin may become more pink or red than usual.
- In deep frostbite, the skin becomes numb and feels rigid, like wood. It looks pale or white. At this point, the muscles and bones may be frozen. In more severe cases of frostbite, the skin can turn blue, gray, or even black because of tissue injury. These changes sometimes do not occur until after the area is warmed. The affected area will also tingle or feel as if it is burning. As the condition worsens, the pain begins to fade and eventually disappear.
- In mild cases, full recuperation can be expected only with timely treatments. Severe cases of frostbite can cause infection or gangrene, which is described as the death of the body tissue due to the lack of blood supply.
- Frostbite is sometimes accompanied by a life-threatening drop in internal body temperature, known as hypothermia, which must be treated as soon as possible.