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Note: Wikipedia does not provide medical advice. If you or anyone you know has frostbite, you should go to a nearby medical facility as soon as possible. This information is only for an encyclopedic purpose, and may not be completely accurate.

Frostbite is the medical condition where damage is caused to skin and tissues due to extreme cold. It is related to, but not identical to hypothermia. Risk factors include using beta-blockers, and having conditions such as diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.


Generally, frostbite is accompanied with discoloration of the skin, along with burning and/or tingling sensations, partial or complete numbness, and possibly intense pain. If the nerves and blood vessels have been severely damaged, gangrene may follow, and amputation may eventually be required.


First, move the victim to a warm, safe area. If medical attention is somewhat easily reached, simply wrap the affected areas with dressings and/or cloths. Also, if it is unlikely that the affected areas can be kept thawed, treatment should not be carried out. Otherwise, one should place the affected areas in warm (not hot) water, until the areas are soft and sensation has returned. Afterwards, wrap the areas in clean, sterile dressings and attempt to reach medical help (if necessary). Also, hypothermia may have occurred; if so, treat that condition, as well.