6 doctors weighed in:

Does frostbite permanently discolor the skin?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree

In brief: It may discolor skin

Frostbite, like burns, comes in degrees.
A simple first degree may not have any lingering effect, but the deeper degrees can cause a permanent discoloration of the skin due to underlying tissue necrosis. Not only is the dermis damaged, but also the nerves around blood vessels may be damaged, meaning that the vessels do not respond to temperature changes normally and that can cause color changes.

In brief: It may discolor skin

Frostbite, like burns, comes in degrees.
A simple first degree may not have any lingering effect, but the deeper degrees can cause a permanent discoloration of the skin due to underlying tissue necrosis. Not only is the dermis damaged, but also the nerves around blood vessels may be damaged, meaning that the vessels do not respond to temperature changes normally and that can cause color changes.
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
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Dr. Steven Harris
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: It can…

Like any other deep skin injury, frostbite can permanently change skin color. Don't give up on some improvement until two years after the injury, however, as it can take some time.
Massage with cocoa butter or the more expensive, but in my opinion, no more effective, scar fade products, to hasten the improvement.

In brief: It can…

Like any other deep skin injury, frostbite can permanently change skin color. Don't give up on some improvement until two years after the injury, however, as it can take some time.
Massage with cocoa butter or the more expensive, but in my opinion, no more effective, scar fade products, to hasten the improvement.
Dr. Steven Harris
Dr. Steven Harris
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Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: Not necessarily

Not necessarily because it depends o. The depth of injury.

In brief: Not necessarily

Not necessarily because it depends o. The depth of injury.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
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Dr. Clark Schierle
Surgery - Plastics

In brief: Frostbite pigmenatio

Possibly. Any time skin is injured, it can affect the function of the melanocytes or cells responsible for pigmenting the skin.
Speeding recovery with proper local wound care and avoiding sun exposure for the first year after the injury can lessen this effect, but it is still not completely preventable. Some of these effects may be treatable with tattooing or lasers in the future.

In brief: Frostbite pigmenatio

Possibly. Any time skin is injured, it can affect the function of the melanocytes or cells responsible for pigmenting the skin.
Speeding recovery with proper local wound care and avoiding sun exposure for the first year after the injury can lessen this effect, but it is still not completely preventable. Some of these effects may be treatable with tattooing or lasers in the future.
Dr. Clark Schierle
Dr. Clark Schierle
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