Patient Comments Read 11 Comments
Frostbite occurs when tissues freeze. This condition happens when you are exposed to temperatures below the freezing point of skin. Hypothermia is the condition of developing an abnormally low body temperature. Frostbite and hypothermia are both cold-related medical emergencies.
The condition has long been recognized. A 5000-year-old pre-Columbian mummy discovered in the Chilean mountains offers the earliest documented evidence of frostbite. More recently, Napoleon's surgeon general, Baron Dominique Larrey, provided the first description of the mechanisms of frostbite in 1812, during his army's retreat from Moscow. He also noted the harmful effects of the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle endured by soldiers who would warm their frozen hands and feet over the campfire at night only to refreeze those same parts by the next morning.
Although frostbite used to be a military problem, it is now a civilian one as well. The nose, cheeks, ears, fingers, and toes are most commonly affected. Everyone is susceptible, even people who have been living in cold climates for most of their lives. Some groups of people at greatest risk for frostbite and hypothermia include those:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Frostbite
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Frostbite:
Frostbite - Outlook
What was the outlook (prognosis) for your case of frostbite?
Frostbite - Causes
What were the causes of your case of frostbite, and what areas were affected?
Frostbite - Symptoms and Signs
What were your frostbite symptoms and signs?
Frostbite - Experience
What was your experience with frostbite?
Frostbite - Home Remedies
What home remedies have been effective for your frostbite?