Frostbite symptoms are nothing to play around with. Exposure to extreme cold temperatures can cause the condition where bodiy tissues literally begin to freeze. This exposure can be deadly. Watching for frostbite is important, especially in children who may not pay attention to the beginning feelings of cold in their extremities. Typically, frostbite symptoms start in the fingers, toes, nose and exposed body parts. Frostbite can be mild and require minimal treatment or it can be severe and result in loss of life. At the first signs of frostbite, appropriate self-care or medical assessment should be employed to reduce the possibility of further damage.
- Feelings of cold. A sensation of cold is usually the first of several frostbite symptoms. Dressing in layers and staying dry may do the most in retaining body heat when exposed to extreme temperatures.
- Skin reddening. Blood vessels dilate and constrict as the body tries to keep the body warm and the skin becomes red in response to the cold.
- Skin whitening. As frostbite symptoms begin to advance, the skin turns white indicating that the tissue is beginning to freeze.
- Pain. Pain is another one of the major frostbite symptoms. Pain usually begins when skin starts to turn red. This is the time to administer warming measures slowly and steadily.
- Numbness. When the skin starts to whiten - indicating a lack of blood flow - numbness in the area begins to set in. This is often erroneously mistaken for frostbite symptoms abating, when in fact, it's an indicator of a worsening condition.