Frostbite is damage to the skin and underlying tissues caused by extreme cold.
Cold exposure - arms or legs
A person with frostbite on the extremities may also be subject to
Frostbite is distinguishable by the hard,
Any part of the body may be affected by frostbite, but hands, feet, nose, and ears are the most vulnerable. If only the skin and underlying tissues are damaged, recovery may be complete. However, if blood vessels are affected, the damage is permanent and gangrene can follow. This may require removal (amputation) of the affected part.
Upon warming, it is common to experience intense pain and
Frostbite occurs when the skin and body tissues are exposed to cold temperature for a prolonged period of time. Hands, feet, nose, and ears are most likely to be affected.
Although anyone who is exposed to freezing cold for a prolonged period of time can get frostbite, people who are taking beta-blockers, which decrease the flow of blood to the skin, are particularly susceptible. So are people with
Review Date: 01/14/2010
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.