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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Not Today Frostbite!

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

Woman Walking On Side of Mountain The only way to protect oneself from frostbite is by monitoring the current forecast and planning accordingly.

If you haven’t been outside the past couple of days, this might be news to you: It’s FREEZING outside! With temperatures dipping down into the deep negatives, the risk of getting Frostbite is rising SIGNIFICANTLY. If you aren’t familiar, Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and underlying tissues, causing the skin to discolor to a dark blue/black color. The only solution is the removal of the body part. You might feel safe wearing warm gloves, but sometimes, they can penetrate through the material if cold enough. This blog will go over the difference between frostnip and Frostbite.


Frostnip is considered a mild form of Frostbite because if treated immediately, the skin can improve by reheating skin. If untreated the continued exposure to the cold can lead to numbness. When the affected area gets reheated, expect to feel this tingling pain caused by the blood flowing through the affected area. 


Suppose you suspect or notice a discoloring on yourself or someone around you. In that case, it is in the best interest to IMMEDIATELY seek medical assistance. If untreated, you can suspect the only solution is to remove the affected area. You should know that there are two kinds of Frostbite, superficial and deep, which both require immediate action to prevent it from getting worse.

Superficial Frostbite

When someone gets superficial Frostbite, it can change their skin color. This type of Frostbite has the chance of healing by the process of reheating the skin; note that the skin may look mottled with the opportunity of having a stinging, burning, or swelling pain. It is common for a fluid blister may appear between 12-36 hours after rewarming.

Deep Frostbite

This type progresses by affecting all layers of the skins and tissue in the affected area. This is when the skin to a shade of white, blue-gray, or black with losing all sensation of cold, pain, or discomfort in the area. Large blisters are expected to form 24 to 48 hours after rewarming. Joints and muscles can stop working, which leads to the tissue turning black and hard as it dies. 

Knowing What to Look For

You will want to seek medical attention if you start to notice any of these symptoms:

  • Increased pain, swelling, inflammation in the area that was frostbitten.
  • Fever
  • Seek attention if the skin is hard, cold, or blotchy. 
  • You are likely to develop hypothermia in severe cases, which requires IMMEDIATE action. 
    • Signs of hypothermia are intense shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness, and loss of coordination.

We at SERVPRO of Iowa City/Coralville want to ensure you have a safe winter season. When exposed to severe weather conditions, you have to be self-aware to know when to get to a warm area. 

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