The first signs of frostbite and how to treat it - FOX 32 News Chicago

The first signs of frostbite and how to treat it

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(WJBK) -

As the temperatures continue to drop be sure to continue to cover every area of exposed skin as you head outside. A scarf is particularly important in doing that, as it also protects your airwaves.

Whether it's kids sledding or you shoveling you know how you feel when the frigid wind blows in your face. Well, on the inside, your airways feel that same slap of cold air. For heart, lung or asthma patients that can be dangerous - but a simple scarf can do a lot.
"It kind of creates a little of area of warmth around your face, and it assists the nose and the mouth in humidifying and warming the air that we breath," explains Dr. Steve McGraw from Providence Hospital.
McGraw has already seen cases of frost bite, and it's usually people who are unprepared.

"You should be prepared to have to walk. God forbid if you wind up having a problem with your car, can't get anyone to help you because the tow trucks are all busy, and you actually have to go somewhere to find help - that's a time when you would need to be able to endure the environment you're in," McGraw says.


+ Moisture on your skin will cause your body to lose heat five times faster so make sure the layer closest to your skin is dry

+ Frostbite can attack exposed skin in just 15 minutes

+ Frostbite can start with a cold feeling and then become painful

+ The affected area may start to feel numb and firm

+ You can treat mild frostbite at home


+ Submerge the area in warm - NOT hot - water

+ Rapid warming with blankets

+ Do NOT walk on or massage frostbitten feet

+ Do NOT use a heating pad, which can make the problem worse

+ It may be painful when the tissue starts to warm, and if it's too painful head to the ER

+ See a doctor if pain or redness persists

VIDEO: Click on the videos above to learn more about keeping warm and avoiding frostbite in these cold temperatures

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