Frostbite can be described as the condition in which extreme cold causes damage to skin and other tissues. In case of human beings, when the temperature goes below 0º C (32ºF), blood vessels that are near the skin, of the body parts farthest from the heart, start narrowing down, to keep the core body temperature at its normal level. As one is exposed to extremely cold conditions, the blood flow to the areas starts getting reduced, because of constricted blood vessels. This leads to freezing of the area and causes severe tissue injury.
If not treated immediately, frostbite can become permanent, leading to nerve damage. Slowly, discoloration will start occurring in the affected area, which will first turn purplish and finally, darken to black. If some treatment is still not given, nerves get damaged so much that the area loses any sort of feelings and blisters start occurring. In extreme circumstances, the affected area has to be amputated, so as to save the rest of the body. In the following lines, we will tell you how to treat/cure frostbite.
Treatment for Frostbite
- Pain Reliever
- Water Thermometers
- Antibacterial Soaps
- Aloe Vera Ointment
- Gauze Wraps
- First Aid Kits
- First of all, take a pain reliever. This will help you cope up with the pain that will be accompanied with rewarming.
- Get together all the required things, like stove, water, pot, receptacle, thermometer, etc.
- Put water in the pot, enough to cover the affected area once it's in the receptacle, and heat it between 104 and 108 degrees F.
- Pour the heated water into the receptacle, which is large enough to hold the affected part without touching the sides.
- Immerse the affected body part, devoid of any covering, in the water. Make sure that it doesn’t touch the sides of the receptacle.
- As soon as the water in the receptacle cools down, to below 100 degrees F, replace it with more hot water, between 104 and 108 degrees F.
- Keep on replacing the cooled-down water with hot water, till you see the discoloration disappearing from the body part.
- Usually, it takes around 30 to 60 minutes for the tissue to become soft and pliable once again.
- Mix some antibacterial soap with water and immerse the affected body part in the solution, for about 5 minutes. This will minimize the risk of infection.
- Now, let the affected area air dry. Thereafter, apply some aloe vera ointment on it, very delicately.
- Finally, cover the area with dry sterile gauze and insulating layers. Make sure to be very gentle while doing the same.