What you need to know to avoid getting frostbite

Posted on: February 1, 2019 | Written By: admin | Comments

With cold weather gripping much of the nation, the chance of getting frostbite is growing. Here’s what you need to know to avoid it.

First off, what is frostbite? It’s an injury caused by freezing of your skin and the underlying tissues. According to the Mayo Clinic, your skin will be cold and red first, followed by numb, hard and pale.

It’s most commonly found on fingers, toes and the face. And it’s not just prevalent on exposed skin — it can happen even if you’re wearing gloves or a scarf. Besides being out in the cold for too long, you can also get it from touching ice or frozen metal.

There are three stages: frostnip, superficial frostbite and severe frostbite.

So to avoid it, there are a number of steps to take.

This one seems pretty obvious, but stay indoors unless you absolutely need to be outside. Is that trip to the mall really necessary, or could you just snuggle up on the couch and do some online shopping instead?

If you do have to go outside, wear several layers of loose, warm clothing. You’ll want to wear waterproof outer layers and moisture-wicking layers on the inside. And you don’t want to be caught out in the cold in wet clothes.

Stay covered up with a hat, headband or earmuffs that completely cover your ears. Mittens can also do a better job than gloves.

You should also avoid alcoholic beverages if you’re going to be out in the cold. And keep moving while you’re outside to keep your body warm, but not at the expense of getting too tired.

If you do find yourself with frostbite, you’ll want to see a medical professional to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand and to treat it best.

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