The record low temperatures outside the window are forcing us to leave our warm apartments less often. But if going outdoors is necessary, it is worth thinking about protection against frostbite.
Frostbite is damage to the skin or part of the body caused by low temperatures. It is accompanied by numbness, soreness, can lead to tissue necrosis.
Frostbite can occur if
- you have chosen tight shoes for a walk
- You are wearing tight clothing that is very restrictive of movement
- Your clothes are wet/you are sweating
- You have vascular disease
- you have smoked in the cold
- You have been in an uncomfortable position for a long time
- you are hungry or tired
Therefore, to avoid frostbite, you should dress warmly and in layers, making sure that your clothes do not cause discomfort or hinder your movement. Wearing a scarf (partially covering the face) and a hat is mandatory, as the vessels of the head are subject to spasms due to the cold, and on the face is very thin skin, which is easily affected by low temperatures. It is desirable 20 minutes before going outdoors to apply a greasy cream on the face and hands - this will provide additional protection.
Frostbite is manifested by the following symptoms
- decreased sensitivity of the area;
- tingling pain;
- skin pallor (1st degree of frostbite);
- blisters (2nd degree of frostbite);
- darkening, necrosis (3rd degree of frostbite).
Having found whitening of the skin or loss of sensitivity, it is necessary to warm the affected area under clothes or pressed against bare parts of the body, hidden by clothes (neck, abdomen). But do not intensively rub or treat the affected area with snow - this will increase unpleasant sensations. If your hands are frozen, first warm them with body heat, and only then put on gloves/mittens.
What to do
First of all, it is necessary to warm up in a warm room. The warming process should be natural and slow. The victim should be wrapped in a warm blanket and a seven-layer thermal insulating bandage should be applied to the affected part of the body. It allows several times slower external warming of the affected area while ensuring the general warming of the body.
A frostbitten limb can be warmed in a bathtub by pouring warm (not hot!) water and gently massaging the hand or foot in the water. It is also important to provide sufficient warm water (sweet tea or herbal decoctions). If the ear or facial skin is frozen, a thick layer of petroleum jelly should be applied to the area and secured with a dry bandage and absorbent cotton.
Take care of yourself!