With the frigid winter months upon us, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of prolonged exposure to the cold. Protect yourself by knowing the signs and symptoms of frostbite, and if you find that you’ve already overdone it, make an appointment with Schaumburg Dermatology to learn about the products and services available to help your skin recover.
How Can You Prevent Frostbite?
Unless you’re fortunate enough to work from home, you’re probably going to have to go outside and deal with winter weather. Taking a few simple precautions before you do can help you stay safe:
- Layer Clothing: Begin with a light, synthetic layer that wicks moisture away from the skin. This layer should include long undergarments and socks.
- Add Additional Light, Loose Clothing: Wool and fleece layers trap warm air more efficiently.
- Waterproof Top Layer: An insulating wind/waterproof top layer, such as parka, can help trap warmth. Make sure that these layers are comfortable and not too tight.
- Protect Extremities. Fingers, toes, ears, and your face, are the most common areas for frostbite. Select insulating gloves, a woolen hat, and a scarf or mask that can cover the face.
- Manage Moisture. Keeping snow out of clothing, and unzipping your jacket should you begin to perspire, will help to keep the body warm and dry.
- Prevent Dehydration. Extreme weather can leach moisture from the body. Drink a glass of water before going out into the cold and exerting yourself. Alcohol should also be avoided.
By following the above suggestions, you can prevent the damage caused by frostbite and keep yourself safe outside.
What are the Symptoms?
Detecting frostbite before it progresses is key to preventing irreversible damage. Look for these symptoms if you think you’ve been overexposed:
- Skin Redness
- Hardness of Skin
- Prickling Sensation
- Yellowing or Darkening of the Skin
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to go inside and gradually treat the affected areas.
How Can It Be Treated?
Apply warm water or a warm washcloth to the skin. Direct contact with hot water should be avoided, as should any attempt to rapidly heat the area, as this can lead to permanent damage. Avoid rubbing the area, because this can cause damage to the skin as well. If sensation does not return, or the skin begins to turn gray, seek emergency medical help immediately, since this could be a sign of irreversible damage.
Learn About Frostbite Treatment from Schaumburg Dermatology
To learn more about the ways you can recover from a case of frostbite, contact Schaumburg Dermatology today at (847) 534-0700. Speak with one of our associates to schedule a consultation at our offices, which are located at 911 North Plum Grove Road in Schaumburg, IL in the Woodfield Lake Office Court, not far from the Sonesta Suites.