First Aid Treatment for Frostbite

Frostbite is a cold-related trauma characterize by tissue freezing.  Most frostbite cases are encountered by those who work or do activities outdoors in the freezing weather such as athletes engaging in sports during cold season, and among the winter outdoor enthusiasts such as skiers, snowboarders, and mountain climbers.

Frostbite is requires immediate treatment.  The first sign of frostbite is the appearance of a yellowish-white spot on the skin.  The flesh will feel numb and cold.  Considerable pain may be felt in the feet and hands.  Lesions on the face may sometimes feel painless.

What to do:
Do not rub the injured part with snow.  The frozen tissues are already injured.  Rubbing may increase the damage.  Bring the victim indoors.  Cover the frozen part with a warm, dry woolen cloth.  Give him a warm drink.

Local treatment:
Warm the frozen part with lukewarm water.  Avoid exposure to heat.  This may form painful blisters.  If no warm shelter is available, cover the frozen area with a warm, bare hand.  Add several layers of woolen clothing.

Wear proper clothing, including gloves or mittens.  Avoid smoking.  Tobacco constricts the blood vessels of the skin, increasing the chances of frostbite.  The feet and socks should be kept dry.  Apply oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, to all exposed areas of the skin.