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What is Frostbite?


Frostbite is a traumatic condition when the skin and at times tissue under the skin freezes. Frostbite injury can happen to ears, nose, fingers, and toes. It takes place when skin tissues freeze after being exposed to the extreme cold, usually temperatures below 0°C.

This condition can range in severity:

  • Mild frostbite (or frostnip) doesn’t cause permanent harm to the skin.
  • Severe frostbite can permanently damage the muscles and fat beneath the skin.

The severity of frostbite depends on the length of time outside, air temperature, dampness of skin, wind chill, and the type of clothing you wear.

Children are at higher risk of this illness compare to adults since they lose heat from the skin quicker. They might have this condition if they:

  • play in the cold or snow for a long time
  • wear clothes that aren’t warm enough for the outside temperature
  • wear boots, gloves, socks and other clothes that are too fitted
  • are exposed to high winds while outside
  • apply ice too long to an injury
  • Have a medical condition that decreases blood to the fingers or toes.

Symptoms of frostbite

If your child has mild frostbite, indications might appear such as:

  • go red, white or purplish-blue
  • tingle or feel cold or numb
  • itch or throb with pain
  • feel hard and look waxy.

The skin should return to normal if your child warms up mildly indoors. These first signs are known as first degree frostbite injury.

However, second degree frostbite is if you see light colored blisters and your skin begins shedding or sloughing. Blood filled blisters are symptoms of third-degree frostbite. These may arise after you have rewarmed your skin.

The worst type of frostbite is fourth degree. It is when bone, muscle, or tendon have frozen.

Are you experiencing this condition or any other foot problems? One of our chiropodist/podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatment options are best to get you back on track. ✅  Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞


We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team




Check our blog about Ski Boot Compression Syndrome

Read our blog about Blisters

Check our blog about Having Cold and Stiff Feet

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