BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE!!.... The Northeast got hit with another snowstorm yesterday and while it looks beautiful this morning, don't forget that single digit temperatures, along with wind, create a risk for developing frostbite quicker than you may realize. **Frostbite times are below on NOAA's Windchill Chart.
Hands, feet, nose and ears are most likely to be affected. If your skin looks white or greyish-yellow, is very cold and has a hard or waxy feel to it, you may have frostbite. Other symptoms include itching, a "pins and needles" sensation or burning.
Gradually warming the affected skin is key to treating frostbite. To do so:
- Protect your skin from further exposure. If you're outside, warm frostbitten hands by tucking them into your armpits. Protect your face, nose or ears by covering the area with dry, gloved hands. Don't rub the affected area and never rub snow on frostbitten skin.
- Get out of the cold. Once you're indoors, remove wet clothes.
- Gradually warm frostbitten areas. Put frostbitten hands or feet in warm water — 104 to 107.6 F (40 to 42 C). Wrap or cover other areas in a warm blanket. Don't use direct heat, such as a stove, heat lamp, fireplace or heating pad, because these can cause burns before you feel them on your numb skin.
- Don't walk on frostbitten feet or toes if possible. This further damages the tissue.
- If there's any chance the affected areas will freeze again, don't thaw them. If they're already thawed, wrap them up so that they don't become frozen again.
- Get emergency medical help. If numbness or sustained pain remains during warming or if blisters develop, seek medical attention.