|Frostnip Vs. Frostbite: What's the Difference?|
3 Questions About Frostnip and Frostbite|
Q. What’s the difference between frostbite and frostnip?
A. Frostbite is tissue damage caused by cold. Just as burns are rated according to severity, frostbite also has first, second, and third degree forms.
Frostnip is the mildest level of frostbite.
A. Frostbite typically affects body parts at the end of the circulatory line: fingers, toes and nose. The following chart shows some of the differences between frostbite levels.
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A. Treat frostnip by coming in out of the cold. Don’t rub, so as not to injure the fragile skin. As the skin warms, it may turn red and feel painfully prickly.
If it’s impossible to reach medical care promptly, warm the areas by soaking in warm water (104º to 108º Fahrenheit.) Expect severe, burning pain; swelling; and discoloration. Once the area is warm and pliable, apply sterile dressings. To minimize further damage, avoid moving the injured areas.
Prevention is the ideal treatment. Before you venture out, check the weather report. Choose layers of clothing in appropriate fabrics, and keep dry. Don’t forget to accessorize with hats, mittens and scarves.
Last updated and/or approved: January 2011. Original article appeared in November/December 2008 former print magazine. Bio current as of that issue. This general health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.
FINGERS FREEZE UP
written by TODD MOBLEY , November 30, 2014
I HOPE YOU CAN GIVE ME SOME ADVICE ABOUT THE PROBLEM I'VE BEEN HAVING WITH MY HANDS DURING COLDER WEATHER . THE TEMPERATURE OUTSIDE ANY WHERE SOUTH OF THE 40s MAKES MY FINGERS ACHE . GLOVES HELP , BUT OUT DOOR ACTIVITIES LAST 15 TO 30 MINUETS BEFORE I'M FORCED TO WARM MY HANDS . I CAN BE SWEATY HOT & HAVE MY FINGERS FREEZE UP IN THE SAME 15 TO 30 MINUETS . NORMALLY PLACING ONES HANDS UNDER COLD WATER CAN BE VERY PAINFUL . WITH MY CONDITION , HOT WATER DOES THE TRICK . ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO I FROST NIPPED MY HANDS . FOR THE FIRST COUPLE YEARS AFTER THAT , I DID NOT NOTICE ANY SYMPTOMS . THE LAST 2 YEARS HAVE BEEN VERY BOTHERSOME . GETTING OLDER (I'M 52)MAKES THINGS LIKE COLD WEATHER MORE CHALLENGING . I FEEL THERE IS SOMETHING ABNORMAL IN MY CONDITION , CONSIDERING THE SHORT TIME LINE & ABOVE FREEZING TEMPERATURES THAT CAUSE ME PROBLEMS . ANY HELP WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED . THANK YOU .