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Cold Hands and Feet (cont.)

Diagnosis

Frostbite is diagnosed by the way it looks, not by tests. There are no specific tests for other conditions caused by cold, except blood tests for cryoglobulins. As with frostbite, testing may be needed for other injuries or conditions.

  • If there are other injuries such as hypothermia (below normal body temperature) or possible broken bones, tests may be needed for the other injuries.
  • If the frostbite seems severe, a bone scan may be necessary. This is a painless procedure that shows the doctor which areas of the hands or feet still have circulation.
  • Other tests often done for frostbite include blood tests, especially tests of the tendency of the blood to clot, and X-rays.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/14/2013

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Cold Hands and Feet - Causes

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Exposure to cold can produce various injuries that occur as a result of the human inability to adapt to cold.

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