(WYTV) — Winters here in the Valley can turn mighty cold. Here’s a reminder about how dangerous frigid temperatures can be on exposed skin.
It doesn’t take long for frostbite to appear.
What is frostbite?
Think of it as a freezing of the tissues. We tend to see it when the temperature falls to around 5 degrees above zero and there’s not a lot of wind.
If it’s 15 below and lower, frostbite can set in within half an hour.
What are symptoms of frostbite to look for?
“Initially, the milder forms, you can get some pain and some numbness of the tips, but the skin can change its color. It can be red, it can be white or it can be blue,” says Dr. Sanj Kakar, an orthopedic surgery with the Mayo Clinic. “You can get these blisters on your hands, and it can be a very serious injury.”
The most vulnerable areas to frostbite are your nose, ears, fingers and toes.
In the worst cases, the tissue may die, and you may need surgery to remove it.
Who’s most at risk for frostbite?
Those who may be more prone to frostbite include the following:
- Certain individuals with diabetes
- Those who have had frostbite before
- Those who are older
- Very young children
- Those of any age who become dehydrated