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Frostbites are skin damage that results from exposure to low temperatures and moisture. The fingers and toes, as well as the cheeks, chin, nose and ears are most often affected by frostbite.
We are always exposed to frostbitefrostbitewe are not dressed properly, especially if we stay outside for a long time. The cause of frostbite is low temperature, and its formation is accelerated by: moisture (e.g. wet shoes), tight clothing causing reduced blood circulation, hunger, fatigue, cardiovascular diseases, dehydration, hypothermia, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, smoking, being at high altitudes, other existing skin injuries.
Frostbite - symptoms
Chilled skin becomes red, painful, burning and stinging. With a slight frostbite, severe pain and dryness of the skin appear, if the frostbite is more severe, the skin becomes pale, the pain subsides, the skin becomes numb, and the skin may blister. If the skin turns a bluish color, go to the emergency room. You should go to the doctor immediately also when there are more damage to the skin, in case of more severe frostbite it may be necessary to administer anti-tetanus serum. All types of frostbite should be assessed by a doctor.
Degree of frostbite
There are four degrees of frostbite. 1. FIRST DEGREE DEFROST - it is a temporary disturbance of blood circulation in a cold area and is manifested, among others, by pain, redness or pallor, tingling and slight swelling. It is a reversible process that affects only the epidermis and does not cause any permanent changes. SECOND DEGREE DEFROSTS - blisters with serous fluid appear on the surface of the skin, additionally it is blue and very swollen. The damage reaches deeper parts of the epidermis. 3. THIRD DEGREE DEFROSTS - the damage affects the epidermis, dermis, and sometimes deeper tissues. The skin necroses and turns purple. 4. FOURTH DEGREE BONUSES - frostbites affect whole parts of the body, e.g. the finger, including the bones. They are so serious that a damaged organ cannot always be saved.
Frostbite -first aid and treatment
Frostbites should not be rubbed with snow or poured with cold water. The main thing is to get to a warm (but not hot) room as soon as possible, get rid of clothes and jewelry. Frosted places should be gently warmed up, e.g. by applying a warm towel, soaking in lukewarm water (initially the temperature should be within 30 ° C and slowly increase to 36 ° C).
You should not put frostbitten hands directly on a radiator or put hot water bottles. Do not rub or massage the frostbitten places. If blisters have formed in the frostbitten place, do not pierce them. In such a situation, it is recommended to apply clean dressings made of sterilized gauze.
After heating the frostbitten places, cover them and lift them slightly higher. You should drink warm drinks, eat warm soup. Under no circumstances should you drink alcohol. Well-heated skin should turn pink.
Regardless of the degree of frostbite, a medical consultation is necessary. In the case of frostbite from the second degree upwards, anti-tetanus serum is administered.