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Doctor insights on: Frostbite

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Dr. Kristin Cox
157 doctors shared insights

Frostbite (Overview)

A condition that occurs upon exposure to cold and is graded just like a burn. First degree is like a sunburn while second degree sees blistering and third degree is full thickness with loss of viability of the skin. Frostbite can be serious so it is best to dress in protective clothing.


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What sort of disorder is frostbite?

What sort of disorder is frostbite?

Ice Burn: Frostbite occurs due to extreme cold temperature such that the skin and possibly deeper tissues freeze, are damaged, and potentially die. If the tissues die, an open wound may be the result or possibly an amputation of the affected part (such as a finger or toe). ...Read more

Dr. Kristin Cox
157 doctors shared insights

Frostbite (Overview)

A condition that occurs upon exposure to cold and is graded just like a burn. First degree is like a sunburn while second degree sees blistering and third degree is full thickness with loss of viability of the skin. Frostbite can be serious so it is best to dress in protective clothing.


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How long does frostbite take to heal completely?

Can take a long time: Frostbite injuries can heal very slowly. Often the final amount of tissue lost is less that one would predict initially. The general rule is: "injured in january, operated on in july.". ...Read more

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What are the signs of having frostbite?

What are the signs of having frostbite?

Depends on severity: Frostbite requires observation because it can be extremely difficult to determine the extent of the injury. Initially the injury can produce profound vasoconstriction manifested by a pale appearance to the extremity with return of circulation the area may become excessively engorged and have a red or even purple appearance. If the vascular supply is permanently compromised the area can turn grey. ...Read more

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How to know if this is really frostbite?

See below: If you have discoloration of the skin, numb, tingling feeling, lack of motion of the part involved.
Have it checked out don't wait ...Read more

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How long does it take dry ice to cause frostbite?

How long does it take dry ice to cause frostbite?

It is possible: If we can not cure the infection and have dead tissue. ...Read more

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How does a hospital treat frostbite?

How does  a hospital treat frostbite?

Rewarming & observe: Frostbite injury is very conservative with gentle rewarming and observation. If necrotic tissue occurs removal is advised after the tissue has clearly demarcated. ...Read more

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What is the treatment for frostbite that is best and has fewest side effects?

Rewarming: Frostbite is, quite simply, frozen tissues. Depending on how severe the frostbite (i.e. How deep the freeze goes), the treatment can range from simply rewarming to in-patient treatment similar to burns to amputations and long recovery times. If you have frostbite, you should see a doctor right away. ...Read more

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Can frostbite be cured?

Injury to be managed: Frostbite happens when the body part affected gets frozen. Your body has to heal up from the injury. If the frostbite is mild, prognosis is very good. If it is severe, you can sometimes lose the affected body part. Seek medical treatment asap, and educate yourself in frostbite prevention (not enough room here to go into details). ...Read more

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If I have frostbite how do I get rid of it?

Gentle re-warming: Is generally the recommended course of action followed by assessment of chronic injury. ...Read more

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Once in awhile my toes turn numb due to frostbite i got years ago. What can I do to prevent this?

Keep them warm!: Frostbite, even after recovery can leave permanent damage to the toes that last a lifetime. Prior frostbite increases your chances of your toes suffering from another cold injury episode.

Keep them warm and dry as possible, especially when outdoors in the cold. When exposed, inspect your feet and toes and if very cold gently warm them. ...Read more

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Growing up I saw first-hand what it was like to have frostbite. How can I avoid getting it like my parent?

Keep warm: Frostbite is caused by overexposure to severe cold. Risk factors for getting frostbite include taking medicines called beta blockers, having diabetes or peripheral neuropthy. Prevention is the best way to avoid frostbite and that includes dressing properly whenever going out into cold conditions. Hand/foot warmers may be purchased inexpensively and are a great help. ...Read more

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Does frostbite heal?

Depends: Just like there are different degrees of burns, so too there are different degrees of frostbite. The worst typre results in dry gangrene. ...Read more

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Can frostbite be cured?

Injury to be managed: Frostbite happens when the body part affected gets frozen. Your body has to heal up from the injury. If the frostbite is mild, prognosis is very good. If it is severe, you can sometimes lose the affected body part. Seek medical treatment asap, and educate yourself in frostbite prevention (not enough room here to go into details). ...Read more

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Do a lot of people get frostbite?

Frostbite=freezing: Frostbite is a real risk whenever people spend time outdoors in freezing temperatures. It occurs when tissue of the body freezes. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure... If you are going to be spending time outdoors in severe weather make sure you are dressed appropriately. If you aren't sure, head to your nearest outdoors store and speak with a knowledgable outdoorsman. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have frostbite?

See below: Pain, burning, change in skin color, peeling of skin.
Can depend on degree of frostbite.
See a doctor if concerned ...Read more

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How can I tell if I got frostbite?

Discoloration: Frostbite is usually painful when it occurs, and will leave the tips of fingers or toes black due to the dead skin. ...Read more

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What sort of disorder is frostbite?

Ice Burn: Frostbite occurs due to extreme cold temperature such that the skin and possibly deeper tissues freeze, are damaged, and potentially die. If the tissues die, an open wound may be the result or possibly an amputation of the affected part (such as a finger or toe). ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of frostbite?

What are the symptoms of frostbite?

Frostbite: Redness and swelling and pain. Get evaluated keep away from extreme temperature even heat, keep clean consider topical antibiotics and avoid repeat exposure to cold. Seek medical attention...See the picture frostbite is like a burn. And can have serious after effects if not treated properly. So beyond understanding that seek medical attention. ...Read more

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Does frostbite get better over time?

Frostbite will: Either "get better" or the tissue will die. However the time frame for tissue to "declare itself" is longer thatn most think ( weeks not days) so early debridement or amputation for figer tips and toes is to bre avoided unless there is a surgicla need to treat infection. There are several grades of frostbite depending upon the severity of exposure. The more severe does worse. (see the image). ...Read more

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What do you recommend for frostbite?

What do you recommend for frostbite?

Rewarming: Initial treatment of frostbite includes rapid rewarming of the affected area. This can be achieved with soaks in warm water. I would recommend immediate medical evaluation. ...Read more

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What to do if this is really frostbite?

What to do if this is really frostbite?

Frostbite: Redness and swelling and pain. Get evaluated keep away from extreme temperature even heat, keep clean consider topical antibiotics and avoid repeat exposure to cold. Seek medical attention...See the picture frostbite is like a burn. And can have serious aftereffects if not treated properly. So beyond understanding that seek medical attention. ...Read more

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What are the signs of having frostbite?

Depends on severity: Frostbite requires observation because it can be extremely difficult to determine the extent of the injury. Initially the injury can produce profound vasoconstriction manifested by a pale appearance to the extremity with return of circulation the area may become excessively engorged and have a red or even purple appearance. If the vascular supply is permanently compromised the area can turn grey. ...Read more

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How to know if this is really frostbite?

See below: If you have discoloration of the skin, numb, tingling feeling, lack of motion of the part involved.
Have it checked out don't wait ...Read more

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How does extreme cold result in frostbite?

How does extreme cold result in frostbite?

Frostbite: Redness and swelling and pain. , keep clean consider topical antibiotics and avoid repeat exposure to cold. Seek medical attention...See the picture frostbite is likea burn. and there are different degrees relative to th thickness of the injury. Cold causes ice crystals to form in tissue resulting in tissue damage and at times tissue death and loss. ...Read more

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Can you get frostbite from eating popsicles?

Unlikely: At or below 32 °f, blood vessels close to the skin constrict. Prolonged lack of blood eventually leads to freezing and death of skin. "frostnip" or first degree frostbite only affects the surface of the skin. If freezing continues, second degree frostbite can occur. However, it is unlikely that one would continue holding a popsicle long enough for any real damage to occur. (one would hope!). ...Read more