What is frostbite and how to prevent it?
Frostbite is a type of skin injury that occurs when you are exposed to extreme freezing temperatures that damage certain areas of your skin and tissues. Frostbite usually affects your toes, ears, fingers, nose, and chin. The condition makes the skin cold, hard, and numb. It's usually treatable and requires medical care in severe cases. Here's how to prevent frostbites.
What are the symptoms of frostbite?
Cold temperatures can make your skin turn red and sore. This is an early warning sign of frostbite and is called frostnip. Early stages of frostbite affect your skin's top layers and make it itchy and pale with a burning sensation. The skin becomes hard in the intermediate stage and liquid-filled blisters start appearing. In the advanced stage, the skin darkens and turns black.
Wear light, comfortable and loose layers
Wearing tight uncomfortable clothes increases the chances of getting frostbite. To prevent this, we recommend you choose some light, loose and comfortable layers that will help to trap the warm air. The first layer of fabric should keep you dry. The second layer should either be fleece or wool as they trap warmth. Lastly, the third layer should be waterproof and windproof.
Don't forget to cover your toes and feet
Your feet are most vulnerable to frostbites, which is why it is important to keep them warm. Wear at least two pairs of warm socks. The first layer of socks should be made of a material that resists moisture. Then layer it up with a pair of woolen socks. Wear waterproof boots that cover your ankles and also provide adequate insulation.
Cover your hands with insulating gloves and mittens
Protecting your hands and fingers from the cold weather is equally important. Therefore, we recommend warm mittens or well-fitted gloves that provide adequate insulation. However, mittens are better as compared to gloves as they hold more heat and are less clumsy. You can also go for a hybrid of the two (also called lobsters), or choose heated mittens or gloves.
Protect your ears and head
It is extremely important to keep your ears and head warm to prevent frostbites. So, get yourself a hat that covers your head and ears perfectly. Choose one made of heavy wool or fleece with ear flaps to keep your ears and head warm. Cover your face with a face mask or a thick scarf if you are outside in extremely chilly conditions.
Always stay hydrated
There may be high risks of developing frostbite if you are dehydrated. Therefore, always have a glass of water before stepping outside, even if you are not thirsty. Also, avoid alcoholic drinks as they can worsen the condition.