Frostbite: Symptoms and Prevention

Winter is the time for fun and games in the cold – from skiing to sledding to building snowmen. It’s important, however, to keep yourself and your family safe by knowing the danger of prolonged exposure to cold, windy weather.

One of the greatest risks of exposure to below-freezing winds and winter air is frostbite, a serious injury frostbite-prevention-tips-afc-urgent-care-west-hartfordthat requires urgent care. Frostbite occurs when the skin and underlying tissues freeze. Injury ranges from mild (superficial) to severe (deep), which can lead to permanent nerve and tissue damage. Though most common on fingers, toes, ears, and face, frostbite can develop in minutes anywhere on the skin – including skin covered by clothing or shoes. Even the most mild forms of frostbite can result in pain, numbness, muscle stiffness, and skin damage.

Frostbite: Symptoms and Prevention

Common symptoms of Frostbite include:

  • Intense cold, prickling, burning, tingling, or itching sensation
  • Numbness
  • White or greyish-yellow patches of skin
  • Hard or waxy-looking skin
  • Swelling, blistering, or deep pain during rewarming process
  • Darkened or black patches of skin in the most severe cases

Follow these tips to prevent frostbite this winter.

  • Watch for symptoms of frostbite and seek urgent care if you think you may have it
  • Cover your head, face, ears, and fingers at all times
  • Limit time outdoors in cold,wet, or windy weather
  • Wear socks and sock liners that fit well, wick moisture and provide insulation.
  • Stay insulated with several loose layers of clothing
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol, which both cause poor circulation and faster heat loss.


If you believe you may have frostbite, visit any of our 3 Danbury AFC Urgent Care Centers for immediate care during out convenient extended hours seven days a week. We accept most insurance plans and offer deeply discounted rates for our self-pay patients.