Significant constriction of blood vessels just below the surface of the skin during cold weather can lead to the appearance of purple-red itchy swellings called frostbite. Damage occurs after prolonged exposure to extreme cold. Although local tissue damage may occur under certain circumstances at temperatures above zero, the occurrence of frostbite is considered only in cases where the ambient temperature is below zero degrees Celsius.

Exposure to natural or artificial cold or contact with a very cold surface can cause a slowing of blood flow. If this condition continues, it can lead to the death of parts of the skin and deep injuries, and this especially applies to the elderly who have problems with blood circulation, and to people who suffer from anemia.

The initial changes are manifested on the skin by hardness, pallor, later redness and bluish and purple color. The affected area is usually less sensitive to touch, although severe pain may be present. The sudden cessation of the feeling of cold is a reliable sign of the beginning of the freezing process. In superficial frostbite, blisters filled with clear fluid appear after several hours, even after two days. Deep frostbite affects the subcutaneous tissue, sometimes muscles, tendons and bones, and blisters filled with bloody fluid appear on the surface. Untreated frostbite usually ends in infection and gangrene.


- In case of severe frostbite, apply physiotherapy
- Rubbing a frozen part of the body with snow or hands or exposing it to a direct heat source is prohibited
- Do not open or squeeze the blisters
- The fingers and toes should be separated by gauze
- Check the temperature and apply the appropriate procedures
- Bring the injured person into a warm room
- Take off wet or damp clothes and anything that tightens
- Compresses of black mustard, marigold, ginger and chili pepper
- First raise the internal temperature with hot beverages
- Drink teas and preparations to improve circulation
- Do not put hot water bottles immediately to frostbite or in hot water until the internal temperature has risen
- Strengthen the immune system
- Re-freezing thawed body parts can cause even more damage than the original frostbite


In severe cases of frostbite or when wounds and ulcers begin to form, immediately go to visit a doctor.