Frostbite - signs , degree , first aid


1. reasons

2. Signs of frostbite

3. degrees of frostbite

4. First aid for frostbite

5. Things to Avoidto do in first aid?

6. Treating frostbite

Frostbite - is damage to the skin integument under the influence of low temperatures.

frostbite usually occur in the winter at a temperature of ambient air less than -10 ° C.But such skin lesions may fall and spring when strong winds and high humidity, even at temperatures above freezing.

This article will discuss the symptoms of frostbite, the severity of the condition, as well as methods for treating frostbite.


frostbite contribute to many causes:

  • previous cold injury;
  • motionless and uncomfortable position of the body for a long time;
  • wet or tight shoes and clothing;
  • hunger;
  • physical exhaustion;
  • decrease in the body's defenses;
  • chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system and blood vessels of legs;
  • sweating feet;
  • serious injuries with blood loss.

According to statistics, the majority of severe

frostbite, which led to the amputation of limbs, occurred in strong alcoholic intoxication man.

complex changes occurring under the influence of cold, depend on the temperature and the duration of its decline.In the case when the air temperature is below -10 ° C, frostbite occurs as a result of cold directly to skin tissue.But most frostbite occurs at temperatures from -10 ° C to -20 ° C.This results in spasms of small blood vessels, which leads to a slowing of blood flow and termination of tissue enzymes.

most common frostbite of the fingers and toes.

Signs of frostbite

initial signs of frostbite is appeared pale skin on the affected site, which is accompanied by pain and tingling accruing.First pain intensity increases, but upon further exposure to cold it gradually subsides.The affected area of ​​the body numb, lost sensitivity to it.If the affected limb, impairs their function.So, if frozen fingers, a person can not move them.The skin becomes thick, cold.Skin color also takes on the signs of frostbite.It becomes bluish, yellow or white with dead-wax painting.

degrees of frostbite

are the following degree frostbite.

first degree frostbite, the easiest.Occurs when exposure to cold for a short time.Signs of frostbite include change in skin color.The affected area becomes pale, there is a tingling sensation followed by numbness.After warming him blush, sometimes purplish-red color, which is accompanied by swelling.There may be pain of varying intensity.After 5-7 days after the frostbite is often a slight peeling of the skin affected.Recovery occurs 6-7 days after injury.

II degree frostbite.It appears when exposed to the cold for a longer period of time.The initial symptoms are blanching and cooling the affected area, the loss of their sensitivity.But the most characteristic feature of this degree frostbite is the formation of bubbles with clear content in the first day after the defeat.If frostbite of the fingers or other parts immediately after warming come pain, burning and itching.Skin Recovery occurs within 1-2 weeks.It does not form the granulation and scarring.

third degree frostbite.It is characterized by the formation of bubbles filled with bloody contents.Their bottom has a blue-purple color, insensitive to stimuli.Painful sensations are characterized by high intensity and over a long period.The affected areas all skin structure perish.When frostbite descended finger nails grow or deformed or does not grow.After 2-3 weeks of rejection dead tissue scarring occurs, which takes about a month.

IV degree frostbite.Usually it combined with the Frostbite II and III degree.All layers of the skin tissues undergo necrosis.Often it affects the muscles, joints and bones.A sign of frostbite is strongly bluish color of the damaged area, often with marble coloring.After warming immediately formed swelling, which quickly increases in size.In the affected area there is no sensitivity.

First aid for frostbite

First aid for frostbite depends on the degree of damage, the overall human cooling, age and existing diseases.

First aid for frostbite is to carry out the following activities:

  • bring the victim into a warm room;
  • off the gloves, shoes, socks;
  • undertake measures to restore blood circulation in the affected areas;

Along with first aid you need to call the doctor: Treatment of severe frostbite should be under the supervision of specialists.

If the victim has symptoms of first degree frostbite, you should warm up the damaged areas of massage movements, woolen cloth to skin redness.After that impose cotton-gauze bandage.

When providing first aid for frostbite victim give hot food and drink.To reduce the pain in the treatment of frostbite use Analgin, aspirin, Nospanum, papaverine.

What not to do when providing first aid?

can not do massage, rubbing, while warming frostbite II, III and IV.In this case, the damaged surface is applied warming bandage.To do this, impose a layer of gauze on top - a thick layer of cotton wool, gauze, and then re-rubberized cloth or oilcloth.The affected limb, such as frostbite fingers fixed with improvised means, pribintovyvaya their top dressing.

can not rub affected by snow, especially if frozen fingers and toes.The blood vessels are very fragile limbs and grinding are easily damaged.This can lead to penetration of infection into microcracks formed.

Treating frostbite

Before treatment frostbite victim warm.

then introduced a mixture of solutions of nicotinic acid, aminophylline, novocaine into the artery affected limb.To restore normal blood circulation and improve microcirculation used ganglioplegic, antispasmodics, trenkal vitamins.In severe injury to the patient prescribe corticosteroids.

also affected administered glucose solutions and reopoliglyukina, which is preheated to 38 ° C.

If the exposed area formed bubbles, pierce them.After that, the place frostbite applied compresses with chlorhexidine and furatsilina.When festering wound dressings used with Levosin, levomikol, dioksikolem.

in treating frostbite used methods of physiotherapy.Most often, the victim is assigned laser irradiation, ultrasound, magnetic therapy, UHF, diathermy (the impact of alternating electric current).

Surgical treatment of severe frostbite is to remove sites with dead tissue.If frostbite fingers, hands or feet led to nekrotizirovaniyu tissues, their amputated.


This article is available exclusively in the educational purposes and is not research material or professional medical advice.

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