To care for your skin after frostbite:
Oct. 15, 2014
- Take all medications — antibiotics or pain medicine — as prescribed by your doctor. For milder cases of frostbite, take over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) to reduce pain and inflammation.
- For superficial frostbite that has been rewarmed, apply aloe vera gel or lotion to the affected area several times a day to reduce inflammation.
- Avoid further exposure to cold and wind.
- Don't walk on frostbitten feet.
- Don't apply direct heat or rub the area.
- Don't break blisters that may develop. Blisters act like a bandage. Allow blisters to break on their own.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=392. Accessed June 30, 2014.
- Mechem CC, et al. Frostbite. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 30, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. Frostbite. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Winter weather frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/faq.asp#frostbite. Accessed July 1, 2014.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 30, 2014.
- Frostbite. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.com. Accessed June 30, 2014.
- McIntosh SE, et al. Wilderness medical society practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of frostbite. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. 2011;22:156.
- Bergeron MF, et al. International Olympic Committee consensus statement on thermoregulatory and altitude challenges for high-level athletes. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012;46:770.
- Miller T. Preparing for cold weather exercise. Performance Training Journal. 2010;3:1.
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