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Frostbite (cont.)

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What is the recovery time for a frostbite injury?

The recovery time for a frostbite injury depends on the extent of tissue injury and whether or not there are any subsequent complications, such as infection. It may take 1 to 3 months before it is possible to determine the extent of tissue damage, and to clearly delineate which tissue is still viable. Some individuals will require debridement, skin grafting, or amputation of the affected area. Some patients will experience long-term sequelae from frostbite injuries, such as sensitivity to the cold with associated pain or burning, arthritis, increased sweating, and tingling of the affected area. Rarely, death occurs from infection-related complications.

When should a person seek medical care for a cold weather-injury?

  • Chilblains can generally be treated at home, though if signs of infection develop from an open sore, individuals should consult a health care practitioner. Patients with recurrent chilblains should also seek medical care, as there may be another underlying disease process leading to this condition.
  • Individuals with trench foot should generally consult a health care practitioner to assess the degree of injury and to monitor for any signs of infection or gangrene.
  • Frostnip can be managed at home, and this condition does not typically require further evaluation.
  • Individuals with frostbite or suspected frostbite should immediately go to an emergency room. Furthermore, these individuals may also be suffering from hypothermia, which requires additional treatment and evaluation, and may constitute a life-threatening condition. These are serious cold weather-related injuries that often require admission to the hospital.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/4/2014

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Frostbite - Experience Question: What was your experience with frostbite?
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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/frostbite/article.htm

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