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Health Conditions

General Description

Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and tissues underlying it. It is caused by long exposure to frigid air or icy winds. The cold stops the blood circulation to the affected areas, usually the face, fingers and hands, ears, nose, and toes and feet, with the result being cold, pale hard skin that has no feeling.

Tips

If you have frostbite do not rub the affected area with snow! Expose it to warmth, but not heat, as the skin cannot sense the temperature. Keep the frostbitten area covered and unexposed from the cold or wind. With warmth the affected areas will usually become red and painful. However, if this does not happen in a short period of time, seek an emergency room.

Prevention

As a preventive measure if you plan to be outdoors where frostbite is a possibility, large quantities of vitamin C (500 mg or more) have been shown to help increase the body's production of heat.

Remedies

Folk

Aloe Use a gel or the fresh juice from a plant several times a day on the frostbitten areas. Not only does it soothe the skin, but it promotes quicker healing. Should heal frostbite in 6-10 days.

Banana peel Cover the frostbitten area with the inner side of a banana peel.

Olive Oil Mix 1 oz. each of olive oil, peppermint oil, and ammonia and rub on frostbitten area.

Water Use cold water to soak frostbitten areas. If the hands are frostbitten, rub them but do not hold directly to heat.

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