Last Updated on Apr 17, 2012


  • Frostbite is damage caused by extreme cold to skin / tissues 
  • At -15C or below, blood vessels constrict to preserve body temperature 
  • When this state persists, tissue injury occurs 
  • Frostbite usually affects tissues which are distant from the heart 
  • It also occurs in tissues that are most exposed to cold 
  • The organs that are usually affected are -
    a. Nose,
    b. Ears, 
    c. Fingers 
    d. Toes 
  • Care should be taken to prevent permanent tissue damage 

Risk Factors

  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Use of beta-blockers

  • Skin Discolorations
  • Loose skin
  • Tingling/burning sensation
  • Partial/Complete numbness
In severe cases,
  • Dry gangrene followed by amputation


Get medical help as soon as possible. Meanwhile 
  • Wrap the affected area using clean cloth
If no medical help is forthcoming -
  • Move the victim to a warm place 
  • Treat hypothermia first. Cover the person well 
  • Keep the frostbitten site in warm but not in hot water 
  • This should be done till sensations returns 
Steps to Avoid
  • Do not rub / massage the affected area 
  • Avoid treatment if a second round of cold exposure is anticipated 
  • Treatment followed by freezing causes extensive damage 

  • Avoid - 
    a. Extreme cold
    b. Wet clothes
    c. Chilly Wind 
  • During cold weather, wear several layers of clothing 
  • Wear accessories like-
    a. Mittens, not gloves
    b. Two pairs of socks
    c. Hat / scarves to cover both ears well
  • Get enough food and rest
  • Avoid alcohol immediately before exposure to cold
  • Avoid cotton clothing

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reappraiser, United States

I think that I may have frost bite on my nose. The area is red and always cold, but I do have feeling. I was exposed to zero temp. for about 30 minutes four different days in a row before I relized my nose feels different. Will the coldness in my nose go away? Should I be concerned? I have been exposed to this kind of weather before and never had a problem.

op4860, India

thanks for help for giving gudeline me

deepak.1234, India

thanx...very helpful...!


!!!! :-)