Isn’t it ironic—ice can burn your skin? Although ironic, it’s true that ice can burn your skin if you happen to have frostbite. You’ll get this when your skin comes in contact with anything below 0 degrees Centigrade. Rushing of blood to the veins will result in a burning sensation, and then you’ll have frostbite.
Worse, frostbite should be taken seriously because if you don’t, it might become permanent. There will be permanent nerve damage on the skin, which will slowly undergo discoloration until the skin becomes black.
Luckily, not only doctors can save you from severe damage from frostbite. You can save yourself from this, too.
- Simple water therapy. Immediately after the frostbite, remove all your jewelries or clothing from the affected area. Dip that affected area in lukewarm water. Make sure that the water is warm enough—not too cold or too hot—or you might make your frostbite worse. Replace the water when it gets cool.
- Heating pad. An alternative to lukewarm water therapy is the heating pad therapy. Simply put the heating pad on the affected skin. Don’t rub the pad on the skin, though. That might only worsen your frostbite.
- Body therapy. If no heating pad or lukewarm water is available, use what is always available—your body. The idea is warming the frostbite using your own body temperature. For instance, if you have frostbite on your hands, you should clip your hands into your armpit to keep them warm.
First Things First
Before you do any of these treatments, you should do the following first:
- Remove jewelries or clothing worn on the affected area. These might irritate the area and might worsen the frostbite.
- Put on pain killer on the frostbite. This will be enough to ease the pain until you are finished preparing your natural frostbite therapies.
While there are things you should do, there are also some things you should not do when you get frostbite. Here are some of the don’ts:
- Don’t get your skin burned. The skin becomes very weak for burning after it experienced intense chill. So when you get frostbite, avoid things that heat up so much like campfire or heat lamp. Overexposure to these things will only make your condition worse.
- Don’t get contact with cold. Cold water, cold fruit, cold metal, cold anything—avoid all these things. These will make your frostbite more triggered to get worse.
- Don’t use alcohol on the affected area. Some people think that alcohol will warm the body. But it will actually take your body heat, which is critical in treating frostbite.
- Don’t touch any metal. Doing this will irritate the skin and will intensify your frostbite.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking makes your frostbite more vulnerable, thus making it more open to aggravations.
Frostbite is obviously most common in winter. But that doesn’t mean you’re safe from getting frostbite in other seasons. As long as your skin became irritated because of extreme cold, that is frostbite. And that can happen on spring, fall, or summer. Keeping all these tips in mind will not protect you from getting frostbite but you’ll at least be treated immediately, properly, and naturally.