In The Know

Posted: 12/22/2011 in Insurance News

Fending off Frostbite
When the body is unable to warm itself properly, serious cold-related illnesses and injuries, such as frostbite, can occur and can potentially cause permanent tissue damage. Frostbite can slowly overcome someone who has been chilled from low temperatures, brisk winds and wet clothing.

Symptoms: Discoloration of the skin; burning and/or tingling sensations; partial or complete numbness of the affected area of the body; intense pain

Prevention:

  • Dress in layered, loose-fitting, warm clothing.
  • Go inside periodically to warm up, even if you do not feel extremely cold. Change your clothes if they get wet.
  • Do not drink alcohol before or during exposure to cold weather, and avoid smoking cigarettes. Alcohol may inhibit the body from knowing that it is cold and nicotine can affect blood vessels and increase the risk of frostbite.
  • Get out of the cold if your skin turns red or if you feel any pain.

If you think that you have frostbite, go inside and place your affected body parts in warm water until your skin is soft and sensation has returned. Then, wrap the area in sterile dressing and visit your doctor to receive any necessary follow-up care.