If the fingers are treated quickly enough, they return to normal. Some patients develop numbness or oversensitivity to cold after they’ve had frostbite. Amputation is occasionally necessary to remove dead tissue. Doctors usually wait a few months to see if the frostbite will heal before deciding to amputate.
Frostbite occurs when skin and underlying tissues freeze in cold temperatures. When fingers get frostbite, the skin changes color, often to a grayish white or yellow tone. They will feel like wax and the skin will be very cold. Sensation varies, and frostbitten fingers may itch, burn of feel numb. Fingers may blister and harden.
To treat frostbite, gradually warm the affected area. Go inside and place your fingers in warm water (just over 100 degrees). Avoid applying direct heat from a stove or lamp, as this can severely burn the skin. If your skin is turning red and feels painful, it is because the sensation is returning.
If your fingers still feel numb and remain discolored, seek medical treatment. In severe cases like these, fingers may have to be amputated.
Frostbite occurs when skin or tissue is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Mild frostbite can result in a prickly sensation, slight numbness of the fingers, or sometimes pain and redness. Severe frostbite can result in blisters, completely numb skin, fingers turning hard and white, or gangrene. Oftentimes the fingers will just need some sort of medical treatment, and will be fine. They may have a lot of pain afterwards or contract an infection, which both can easily be treated with medication. In the more severe cases, surgery to remove the tissue, amputation, or skin grafts may be needed.
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