Ways & How

how to treat frostbite

how to treat frostbite

Frostbite, also called congelatio, occurs when the skin suffers open exposure to extreme cold. The early stage of frostbite is locally termed as frost-nip. Prolonged outdoor exposure can seriously damage the skin and tissues beneath the skin’s surface.  The longer you wait to treat frostbite, the more dangerous the condition becomes. Learn how to treat frostbite properly at home so you can cure cases as soon as possible. Extremities such as the toes, chin, fingers, cheek and ears are the most susceptible to frostbite. Skin hardness, skin discoloration, blisters, numbness and severe pain usually accompany the condition. If taken lightly, frostbite can lead to permanent damage and may require an amputation. Fortunately, you can treat this skin condition naturally.

  1. Seek a warmer place. If you have a dry and thick cloth or blanket, cover everything except the affected areas. Remove your jewelry and clothing near the frostbite to to avoid further irritating the area. Cover those affected areas with a clean and dry gauge.


  2. Take pain reliever. Extreme cases of frostbite can be very painful because they occur on sensitive parts of the body. Take a pain reliever such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, cox-2 inhibitors or tramadol to ease your frostbite aches

  3. Apply Aloe Vera. The healing properties of this herbal plant can also reduce pain. If you have Aloe Vera gel, apply a sufficient amount on the affected areas. You can also mix the herb’s sap into a cup of warm water and then apply it to the damaged skin.

  4. Prepare hot water. Boil water until the temperature is between 105F to 110F. Use a thermometer to track the water temperature. Get a wide-mouthed basin, large enough to hold the frost bitten area, and pour the hot water into it. The basin should be as large as possible so that the skin does not contact the sides of the container. Irritating the affected areas will worsen the condition.

  5. Soak the frostbitten areas. Slowly remove the gauge covering the frostbitten area. Again, avoid touching the sides of the basin while soaking the damaged skin. Soak until the water temperature drops to 100F. This will require patience because the treatment may last an hour or even longer.

  6. Replace the hot water. If the condition is extreme, you must soak the area repeatedly. After the water temperature falls below 100F, replace it with hot water between 105F to 110F. Continue soaking until the skin regains its natural color.

  7. Use antibacterial soap. After the skin has regained its color, wash it with clean water and antibacterial soap. This will prevent future infections.

  8. Apply Aloe Vera ointment. After your skin is dry, apply Aloe Vera ointment to facilitate the healing process. Re-wrap the frostbitten area with dry and clean gauge. Even if you feel better, you should visit a doctor for proper medication and treatment.

Anyone can contract frostbite by spending long hours outside when the weather temperature is below zero centigrade. The snow, rain and cold wind can easily sap the natural heat from your body. When the temperature is already below freezing level, it is unwise to stay outdoors for too long. Whenever you must venture outside in cold weather, always wear gloves, hat and proper footwear as a precautionary measure. In the event that the condition catches you off-guard, you should immediately refer to the steps above on how to treat frostbite.


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