LivingTravelWhat does frostbite look like?

What does frostbite look like?

The appearance of frostbite depends on its severity. The affected skin may appear red, blue, white, or even pale. But what color represents what stage?

First degree frostbite: Frostnip

Also known as frostbite, first-degree frostbites involve swelling, blisters, and redness, followed by a burning or itching sensation. Ironically, the affected area may appear to have been burned and the skin is soft to the touch. This stage, while scary at times, is fairly easy to reverse, although injured tissue can exhibit long-term insensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

Second degree frostbite: shallow frostbite

As frostbite progresses, the affected skin turns white or yellow, giving it a waxy appearance. And that burning or burning sensation during the first stage? It becomes more of a tingling or tingling sensation. The skin is firmer to the touch but the fabric underneath is soft. As with frostbite, this level of exposure can cause long-term insensitivity to hot and cold temperatures in the affected area.

Third degree frostbite: deep frostbite

If that initial burning sensation turned into tingling progresses to a total decrease in sensation, it may be a sign that the frostbite has passed through the skin, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, nerves and even bones, even frozen. Swelling and blood-filled blisters are a common sight with deep frostbite. The skin looks waxy, a blotchy mixture of white, gray, and yellow that can turn purplish-blue when heated. The skin is hard to the touch. It may even appear blackened and dead. The affected area may never feel again.

Tissue damage, or necrosis, is present at this point. Extreme cases may require amputation.

Sources: eMedecineHealth, Medscape, WebMD

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