In this article, let us understand frostbite, the symptoms, the causes, frostbite prevention and the way to cope with it at home.
Frostbite is a condition which result in damage to skin and tissue caused by exposure to cold temperature or freezing temperatures.
Frostbite can affect any part of your body especially the hands, feet, ears, nose, and lips, are most likely to be affected.
Symptoms of frost bite includes:
– affected parts feels cold and painful.
– Pricking sensation was there
– numbness of the affected part
What causes frostbite?
The body respond to cold temperature by narrowing or constriction of the blood vessels. This causes reduced blood flow to the extremities so that the blood flow to the vital organs can be increased.
As the blood is redirected away from the extremities, distal parts of the body get colder, and fluid in the tissues can freeze into ice crystals. Therefore, ice crystals cause severe cell and tissue damage in the affected area. The low blood flow also deprives of oxygen level to the tissues.
People who are at greater risk of getting frostbite include:
-people who take part in high-altitude sports, such as mountaineers and skiers.
-anyone stranded in extreme cold weather conditions.
-persons who used to work in the harsh climatic conditions or cold weather of long duration such as soldiers, sailors and rescue workers.
-young and old people, as their bodies are less able to regulate body temperature
-people with diabetes may cause circulatory problems.
-anyone taking medication for hypertension or nervous ailment, as these drugs contain beta-blockers which results in the constriction of the blood vessels.
-smoking can also constrict the blood vessels as it contains nicotine which results in narrowing of the vessels.
-persons who are drug addicted are at higher risk.
Prevention of frostbite:
-Avoid unnecessary exposure to cold temperatures.
-Wear appropriate clothing that protects your extremities.
-protect your head and ears from cold.
How to cope with frostbite at home:
-Keep the affected part of the body elevated or raised, so as to reduce swelling.
-One must move to a warm place or area to prevent further heat loss.
-Do not walk if toes or feet are affected as it aggravates the condition.
-Remove all wet clothing and jewelry because they may hamper blood circulation / flow.
-Give the person warm drinks.
-Do not rub the frozen area as it causes further tissue damage.
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