With the coldest part of winter gets ever closer, it’s important to keep in mind that Mother Nature is who’s in charge here and all too often our bodies can play tricks on us. There are varying severity levels of frostbite, so it’s very important to pay attention to the quiet clues. Below, we’ll list for you some of the more noticeable indications to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Red and Cold Skin – Generally this skin is exposed, but not always. That’s the important part to know; sometimes you think your skin is safe because it’s covered, but this is not always true. Commonly, fingers, toes, face, and ears are affected. It is also possible on thighs, chest, and neck. This level is known as “frost-nip” and is the first sign to go inside and warm up.
- Prickling Skin – Numb, pins-and-needles, burning, and/or stinging sensations on the frost-nip stricken skin is next. This signifies that frostbite is coming closer and closer to a dangerous stage.
- Hardened and Waxy Skin – This sign is one of tissue damage. Skin feels tighter than normal, becomes shiny and smooth, like wax on a piece of fruit. This symptom is known as superficial frostbite. Keep an eye out for blood-filled blisters after warming up during this stage. You will require medical attention for these symptoms to make sure that there will be no lasting damage to the skin.
- Advanced Stage Frostbite – Now skin will transform as necrosis sets in. Coloration changes and complete numbness due to the tissue dying.
It is vitally important to warm up at the earliest stages of frostbite. A warm bath, dry clothes, reasonable levels of heat should be applied to the affected areas but due to your condition, you may not be the best judge of temperature while blood flow is being restored. You do not want to burn your skin because your fingertips have gone numb. Prevention is key, so bundle up cozy with water-proof insulated materials when going outside to play or perform winter tasks. Once outside, keep moving! Numbness and temperature changes are hard to notice when you’re still.
As always, we at Dam-It Dams, Inc. are concerned with your safety in any weather, so enjoy the outdoors this winter as much as you do in the summer, but do it informed and safely!