Frostbite is a serious condition that’s caused by exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Stay safe this winter by learning more about frostbite, including who is most at risk, signs and symptoms, and what to do if someone develops frostbite.
What is Frostbite?
Frostbite is a bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation.
Who’s Most at Risk?
You may have a greater risk of developing frostbite if you:
- Have poor blood circulation
- Are not properly dressed for extremely cold temperatures
At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin—frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:
- a white or grayish-yellow skin area
- skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.