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The Cold Facts on Frostbite

What is Frostbite?

If you've ever been so cold that it hurt, you've had a little taste of what it's like to have frostbite. Frostbite (also called chilblains) is the injury or destruction of skin tissue (or tissue under the skin) resulting from extended exposure to freezing temperatures. Frostbite normally affects fingers, toes, ears and noses - all the parts of your body that get cold first.

What Happens When You Get Frostbite?

When skin is exposed to extreme cold for too long, small blood vessels start to shrink. Blood moves slower through the smaller blood vessels and eventually stops circulating. In some cases, the skin may even freeze. Since blood normally carries oxygen to the skin, the skin tissue starts to die when the blood stops moving. Extreme frostbite may lead to gangrene (irreparable skin tissue death), which may need to be treated with amputation. Yikes! Blisters are caused when ice crystals form in the blood, which causes skin cells to rupture.

What Are the Symptoms of Frostbite?

If you're out in the cold and notice any pale or glossy (or waxy looking) skin, numbness or blistering, you should get inside quickly. Frostbitten skin may also feel stiff and look bluish. Other symptoms are itching, swelling, burning and pain when the area is warmed.

How Do You Treat Frostbite?

A person with frostbite needs to get inside and warm up right away. Remove anything covering the affected skin and gently bathe the area in lukewarm water. Don't use hot water and don't rub the area at all. Seek medical attention right away.

How Do You Avoid Frostbite?

Obviously, it's best to avoid getting frostbite in the first place. To do this, make sure to bundle up before heading out into the cold. Wear a lot of layers because the air between them helps you to keep warm. Also, make sure to protect your most vulnerable areas (hands, feet and other extremities) by wearing gloves, warm socks and protective footwear. It's a good idea to take regular breaks from your icy activities and head inside to warm up.

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What is Minor Frostbite Called?

  • Frostnibble.
  • Frostnip.
  • Frostchew.
  • Frostchomp.

General In The Forums

Nandez
Nandez posted in Say Anything:
thanks for posting this Kristen. I think that it is a tough subject to talk about with other people and honestly I think it's good to talk about it in a moderate amount. Now that more pepole are being diagnosed with learning differences or some sort of other mental health disorder, I think that talking about it and informing people will only make it easier for people to feel less awkward or the odd man out. That's how I found about that I am not the only person in the room who has ADD. I'm more willing to come out and talk to people and discribe what I have to go through on a daily basis to raise awareness. School will always be hard for me so I look at my strengths to help push me forward in life. 
reply about 6 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Say Anything:
Oh wow, a genuine trigger warning. Did the memes teach you nothing?  First off, an actual warning. Take no action based on what you've read here without first consulting a mental health professional.  Now, I have a lot of experience in mental illness. I have ADHD(Pre-DSMV), an anxiety disorder, and I've tested significant for bipolar (Pre-DSMV).  My best advise is to find a therapist that you personally connect with. It's not about being comfortable, because a good therapist will challenge your thoughts, but you need to be able to accept those challenges. And to do that, you'll need a therapist that you mesh with.  Aside from that, good medication can go a long way to helping you live with your mental issues. However, this isn't true for everyone, and it should be handled by a medical professional. 
reply about 6 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Say Anything:
I mean, it's a problem, but it's a problem that most all hormonal teens go through. 
reply about 6 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
Yes, there's so many things I wish I was told that I wasn't.
reply about 8 hours
Kirsteeeeen
This is great, Kris! Loved it.  Thank you :) It's one of those things I wish someone had said to me in the past, y'know?
reply about 8 hours