Ski Vacation Warning: Understanding Frostbite

During your ski vacation, prolonged exposure to cold environments can lead to frostbite. Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Before you go on vacation, it is important to first understand this injury.

Frostbite is common on the toes, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin. Usually, skin exposed to cold weather is most prone to frostbite. But it can even appear on the skin covered with gloves or other clothing.

What are his symptoms?

When you get frostbite, your body will show symptoms such as cold skin and a tingling sensation; tingling; red, white, bluish-white or gray-yellow skin; hard or waxy looking skin; and muscle stiffness.

What are the reasons for this?

One of the causes of frostbite is wearing inappropriate clothing. When your clothes do not protect you from extreme cold or are too tight, the chances of getting frostbite are high.

Another reason is prolonged exposure to a cold environment. Temperatures from -15 C to -27 C increase the risk of frostbite after less than 30 minutes.

Finally, touching materials such as ice, cold packaging, or frozen metal also causes this injury.

How can we prevent it?

First, limit your time outdoors in cold weather. Stay up to date with weather forecasts and wind readings. Exposed skin can develop frostbite in a few minutes in these extreme conditions.

Second, wear appropriate clothing. It is more important to change your wet clothes (such as gloves, hats and socks) as soon as possible.

Third, be prepared. When traveling in cold weather, wear emergency supplies and warm clothing in case you get stuck. If you are in a remote area, tell others your route and expected return date.

Fourth, stay healthy. Exercise. Eat a well-balanced diet and stay hydrated. Do not drink alcohol before going outdoors. Alcohol causes your body to lose heat faster. If you feel cold, a warm, sweet drink, such as hot chocolate, will help you stay warm.

First aid

When this happens during your ski trip, you can perform the following first aid.

Check for hypothermia first. Signs include trembling, slurred speech, drowsiness, and loss of coordination. Also protect your skin for further exposure. Do not rub the affected area.

Second, stay away from the cold. Once indoors, take off wet clothes. Carefully warm the frozen areas by soaking them in warm water (37-42 C) for 15 to 30 minutes. If the thermometer is not available, test the water by placing an intact hand. Wrap the affected area so that it does not freeze. If numbness or pain persists during warming or blisters appear, it is best to seek emergency medical attention. If you experience pain, take over-the-counter painkillers to reduce pain and inflammation. If possible, do not walk on frozen feet or toes. This will further damage the tissue.

The chances of getting frostbite during your ski vacation are high, so it is important to know about this injury. After all, we always go back to the saying, “Prevention is better than cure.”