Frostbite begins with a progressive numbing feeling of the affected area. This is followed by tingling and the area being sensitive to touch. The skin color begins to change from a normal tone to a red, then to purple and white when completely frozen. Frostbite can range from a mild, treatable form, to a serious form where amputation may be necessary due to blood loss or infection.
While extremities like fingers and toes are the most common victims of frostbite, frostbite can occur anywhere on the body. The tip of the nose is also a common site for frostbite because it is usually unprotected from the harsh cold.
Beginning symptoms include burning, tingling, stinging, or numbing sensations of the exposed area. Minor injury to the area include swelling, redness, loss of sensation, and white plaques on skin. Severe injuries include blood blisters.
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