Frostbite questions

This is Dr. Pelto here after I put up that post yesterday about frostbite I had a patient come in and he had a few questions that I want to go over.

Does my skin need to be exposed to the cold to get frostbite?

Many patients think they can only get frostbite on their nose or ears that are exposed to the cold weather. This makes the frostbite worse but even if it's in a boot even with a couple pairs of socks in your expose for a long period time you can have the beginnings of frostbite.

Does frostbite have to be painful?

Many patients think that frostbite is very painful and if it's very severe it can be painful but for many people they feel a tingling or only pain when they have pressure on different areas of the frostbite. For example this patient with the picture above he had pain mostly on those red areas when they were touched by his shoe or by his hand.

How long will it take to get better?

Typically frostbite takes a couple of weeks to a couple of months to get better but you have to be aware that you are going to be susceptible to cold so it's important to keep your feet warm during this snow season in the following seasons. 

So my best advice is for people to stay out of the cold for long periods of time. Instead of shoveling for two hours try to do it for 15 minutes and then come back in and once warm go out again.