The cold weather can affect our bodies. Remember to consider the current and projected weather conditions before heading outside in the cold winter months.
Frostbite is a type of injury caused by the freezing of exposed skin and tissues. At first your skin becomes very cold and red, then numb, hard and pale. Frostbite is most common on your extremities: fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks, forehead, and chin. Frostbite can be severe and permanently damage the body, even leading to amputations in extreme cases. Frostbite requires medical attention because it can damage your skin, tissues, muscle and bones. Frostnip is a milder, superficial form of cold injury that doesn’t cause permanent damage. You can treat frostnip with first-aid measures.
Signs and symptoms of frostbite:
First signs include, cold skin and a prickling feeling
Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin
Hard or waxy-looking skin
Specific conditions that can lead to frostbite:
Wearing clothing that isn’t suitable for the conditions.
Staying out in the cold and wind too long.
Touching materials such as ice, cold packs or frozen metal.
Certain medical conditions
Alcohol or drug use
Previous frostbite or cold injury
Being an infant or older adult
Plan to protect yourself. Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing.
Wear a hat or headband that fully covers your ears.
Wear mittens rather than gloves.
Wear socks and sock liners that fit well, wick moisture and provide insulation.
Eat well-balanced meals and stay hydrated. Don’t drink alcohol if you plan to be outdoors in cold weather.
Limit your time outdoors in cold, wet, or windy weather.