What is Frostbite?


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What is Frostbite?


Frostbite is a cold-weather-related medical condition that occurs when skin and other tissues freeze due to exposure to extremely cold temperatures.  It typically affects exposed areas of the body, such as the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin.

Exposure to freezing temperatures, especially with wind chill, can lead to the formation of ice crystals in the skin and underlying tissues, causing damage.

Risk Factors

  • Prolonged exposure to cold weather.
  • Wind chill, which increases the rate of heat loss from the body.
  • Wet clothing or inadequate protection against the cold.
  • Alcohol or tobacco use, as they can impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature.


  • Dressing in layers to stay warm.
  • Protecting extremities with hats, gloves and insulated footwear.
  • Avoiding prolonged exposure to extreme cold.
  • Staying dry and changing wet clothing promptly.
  • Limiting alcohol and tobacco use in cold conditions.

Stages of Frostbite

  • Frostnip: The initial stage involves skin turning pale or red and feeling numb.  It is a reversible condition.
  • Superficial Frostbite: Ice crystals form in the skin, causing numbness, pain and a waxy appearance.
  • Deep Frostbite: Ice crystals extend into deeper tissues, resulting in severe damage.  Skin may appear white or blue-gray.
Are you suffering from any foot condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
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



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Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.