IN THIS ARTICLE
The first step in preventing frostbite is knowing whether you are at increased risk for the injury.
Although people don't always know or acknowledge these dangers, many of the dangers can be reduced or prevented.
Frostbite Prognosis (Outlook)
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A common saying among surgeons who have treated people with frostbite is "frostbite in January, amputate in July." It often takes months before the final separation between healthy and dead tissue may be determined. If surgery is performed too early, the risks of removing tissue that may eventually recover or leaving behind tissue that may eventually die are great. Some radiographic techniques currently are being investigated that may be able to make this division much sooner, thus permitting earlier definitive treatment.
Beyond this waiting period, many people will suffer long-term symptoms because of their frostbite. Common symptoms include pain or abnormal sensations in the extremity, heat or cold sensitivity, excessive sweating, and arthritis.
Medically reviewed by a Board-Certified Family Practice Physician
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/2/2016
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