Tips on how to avoid frostbite during the cold season

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Frostbite is a serious acute condition that occurs during the cold season and can lead to loss of life and limb if precaution measures are not implemented quickly.

Frostbite has certain symptoms that should be looked for in order to set a blitz diagnose and a saving treatment: the loss of feeling in the affected area (most often the fingers or the toes) and a pale numb looking skin during the first stages of this affection. All these symptoms are a consequence of the body’s defensive reaction towards extreme cold temperatures. The body tries to conserve the heath and well functioning of the most important internal organs (the brain, the heart and the lungs) by restraining the speed and density of the blood flow towards the microcirculation situated in the body extremities.

Frostbite can occur in any person if exposed to very low temperatures. If medical help is not found nearby then frostbite could turn into a life or death situation, as immediate medical treatment is needed as soon as possible and every minute of exposure to the cold temperature influences the health of a person.

Here are some useful tips to recognize symptoms of frostbite and things you can do in order to avoid frostbite:

1. Keep away from the two major elements that might cause frostbite: the wind chill factor and very low temperatures. Find a shelter; stay in a tent or even in a snow hole until the danger goes away.

2. In order to re-achieve the heat you have lost, change in dry clothes if the clothes you have worn got wet. If the new clothes are warm that is even better.

3. Another idea for getting warm again would be to use warm water (not hot) for the affected areas. Avoid using warm air (like the one that comes from the fire or the radiator) as this will have a damaging effect upon the tissues.

4. A lot of people believe that by rubbing the affected areas with snow they will intensify the blood circulation towards that area and things will get better. This is wrong! Never do this as you will only make things advance faster towards irreversible tissue lesions.

5. Never go alone on the mountain, especially during the winter. No matter how much experienced you might be, unexpected situations and weather changes can occur and you won’t be able to handle things on your own.




  1. I live in a country where it gets very cold and we are very familiar to frostbite! Thank you for giving additional tips on how to avoid them. They will certainly be handy!

  2. Thanks for your tips.
    Gear is important. I found a
    discussion of foot gear to avoid frostbite
    Any source for head gear and hand gear?

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