MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - With cold temperatures upon us, the risk for cold-related injuries, such as frostbite, can go way up. Experts at Mayo Clinic are weighing in on how frostbite is more common and often more serious than many people think. In temperatures below freezing, it can happen within minutes, with the most vulnerable areas being your nose, ears, fingers, and toes.
The good news is that frostbite is fairly easy to avoid by taking precautionary measures to stay warm, but knowing the warning signs is also key to lessen the severity of it.
”So, initially, with 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. And you can get these blisters on your hands. And it can be a very serious injury,” said Dr. Sanj Kakar, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Mayo Clinic.
In the worst cases, the tissue can die, and you may need surgery to remove it. It’s important to know some people are more at risk to experience frostbite than others.
Kakar added, ”Those most at risk are certain patients with diabetes, patients who have previous history of frostbite are prone to it, the elderly or your very young children, and also, for example, if you’re dehydrated.”
If you can’t avoid the cold, Mayo recommends making sure to keep all areas of skin properly covered and to stay hydrated.