What is it?

Frostbite is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue caused by cold. First, when it's only a frostnip, the damage is not permanent, and is treated by rewarming the area. The second stage is called superficial frostbite, during which the skin already starts to feel warm. In this stage, blisters may appear 12-36 hours after rewarming the area. If it has progressed to deep frostbite, it affects all layers of the skin and tissues below. Large blisters form 24 to 48 hours after rewarming. The tissue turns black and hard as it dies.. It is typically seen on the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms at first may include cold skin and prickling feeling at first, then it may progress to numbness, discoloration of the skin, waxy- looking skin, clumsiness and blistering after rewarming.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include x-ray or MRI of the injured tissue.


Treatment includes rewarming the area, pain killers, wrapping the area injured, debridement of the damaged tissue, and physical therapy at later stages.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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