Protect yourself from frostbite this winter

  • Jan 10 , 2017

In case there is a sub-zero temperature in the area where you reside, it is necessary to protect yourself from frostbites. Frostbite takes place when one or more body parts become numb as a result of overexposure to cold. It can be common in areas like Ladakh and Srinagar.

Frostbite is a common condition among those who trek during the coldest months. It occurs when there is no adequate protection from the cold. It is a serious medical condition requiring immediate attention and mobilisation of the affected body part. Ignoring the condition can be dangerous as the pain tends to get more intense as the cold increases.

Frostbites are commonly seen in the following body parts:

  • Nose
  • Toes
  • Cheek
  • Fingers

To give medical aid to a victim of frostbite, you do not require state-of-the-art medical equipment. Diagnosing this condition and administering first aid immediately is most important. Common symptoms are- sharp pain, discolouration of skin and very cold skin.

Preventing frostbite

Frostbite tends to attack people without proper blood circulation. This condition can easily be avoided by preparing the home and the car well for winter in advance of the actual season. Once it has happened, a simple remedy is to rub lukewarm water on the affected areas. The body part will be numb after frostbite, but in case you feel the sensation returning, it means that the blood circulation is getting back.

Ways to prevent frostbite:

  • Cover your face- Make sure all parts of the face and surrounding areas are covered. For this, you could use a face mask or a thick scarf around your head and face.
  • Wear mittens in place of gloves- Mittens can trap heat better than gloves.
  • Focus on extremities- The core of the body must be warm. This can be done by investing in a suitable winter hat, thick socks and a reliable pair of mittens.
  • Layers of dry clothes- Cover yourself up with as many layers of dry clothes as possible. It may take a little longer to remove them, but they will be extremely beneficial in the weather. 
  • Do not keep skin wet for long- Frostbite tends to enter the skin fast when it is wet.