Frostbite occurs when the skin and body tissue just underneath it freezes. Your skin becomes very cold, then numb, hard and pale. Frostbite typically affects smaller, more exposed areas of your body, such as your fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin.

Frostnip, the first stage of frostbite, irritates the skin but doesn't cause permanent damage. You can treat mild forms of frostbite with first-aid measures, including slowly warming your skin with warm water. Severe frostbite, however, requires medical attention, as it can damage skin, tissues, muscle and bones and lead to complications, such as infection and nerve damage.

Oct. 07, 2011

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