Frostbite is a treatable but potentially serious condition that affects the skin. It happens when a body part isn't properly covered when you’re outside in freezing temperatures.
Just like water turns to ice when the temperature drops, your fingers, hands, toes, feet - even your nose and ears -- can freeze. How soon this happens depends on how cold and windy it is outside. It can happen faster than you may think. In severely frigid weather, frostbite can happen in just 5 minutes.
Get to know how to avoid it, the warning signs, and what to do if frostbite sets in.
What Are the Symptoms?
When it's cold out, exposed skin may get red or sore. This is called frostnip, and it’s an early warning sign of frostbite. If this happens, find warm shelter quickly.
Symptoms of frostbite depend on how deep it goes into the body. There are three stages. Early frostbite affects the top layers of the skin. More advanced cases can go all the way through to the muscles and bones.
Skin turns a pale yellow or white
It may itch, sting, burn, or feel like "pins and needles."