Frostbite is the medical condition in which extreme cold causes damage to
skin and other tissues. Your blood vessels narrow at or below 32ºF in order to
preserve your body's core temperature. But when the body is exposed for long
periods of time or extreme cold, this narrowing of the blood vessels can reduce
blood flow in various areas of your body to dangerously low levels. The areas
that are affected freeze over. Cold temperatures and poor blood flow both
contribute greatly to Frostbite.
Frostbite is most likely to occur in body parts farthest from the heart, as well as
surfaces of your body exposed to the cold. If frostbite is not treated immediately
the damage may remain permanently.
Preventing Frostbite with Body Heat- While still exposed to the cold, it is
important to use various warming techniques in order to prevent frostbite. The
warming of your fingers and hands can be achieved by placing them under your
Don't Get Burned- When your skin is experiencing intense chill it is very
vulnerable to burning. When warming up, be careful when using a heat lamp or
a campfire, as overexposure to either may burn your skin when it is most
Avoid Cold Water Contact- Your body's heat is reduced greatly upon contact
with cold water.
Alcohol Induces Frostbite- Despite many thinking alcohol warms the body, it
actually drains the body of heat.
Allow Circulation- Because frostbite is triggered by the halt of blood flow in
specific parts of your body, it is important to not to further diminish your body's
flow of blood through the use of jewelry or tight clothing.
Smoking Induces Frostbite- Smoking decreases your peripheral circulation,
making you further vulnerable to frostbite.
Try Mittens- Mittens are warmer than gloves.
Cover Your Ears- Use a stocking cap to protect your ears.
Don't Touch Metal- Contact with metal in the severe cold can both initiate and
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