Most minor cold injuries will heal
on their own, and home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your
symptoms and promote healing. But if you think you may have a more severe
cold injury, use first aid measures while you arrange for an evaluation by your
doctor. These first aid measures can also be used for children. Be sure to warm
the child's whole body with blankets as well as the cold injured parts.
- If you have
immediate first aid measures. Stay calm, find shelter,
change to dry clothes, keep moving, and drink warm fluids to prevent further
heat loss and slowly rewarm yourself.
- If small areas of your body
(ears, face, nose, fingers, toes) are really cold or frozen, try
home treatment first aid to warm these areas and prevent further injury to
skin. Warm small areas by blowing warm air on them, tucking them inside your
clothing, or putting them in warm water.
Frostbitten skin may be more sensitive after the cold injury.
The injured skin area should be protected with sunscreen and protective
clothing to prevent further skin damage. The color of the injured skin may also
change over time.
Apply aloe vera or another moisturizer, such as
Lubriderm or Keri lotion, to windburned skin. Reapply often. There is little
you can do to stop skin from peeling after a windburn—it is part of the healing
process—but home treatment may make your skin feel better.
nonprescription artificial tears warmed to body temperature to moisturize and
soothe eyes that are cold, sore, or dry from exposure to cold or wind.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
| Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
| Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|
- Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.
- Do not take more than the
- Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
- If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
- Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
- Symptoms of a
skin infection develop, such as redness, swelling, or
- Blisters develop after you begin home
- Symptoms have not gotten better or have gotten worse
after 1 hour of rewarming treatment.
- Symptoms become more severe or