Treating frostbite naturally… It’s possible!

How to treat frostbite on the feet and hands?

In cold weather, poorly covered or protected skin can freeze quickly. When the skin freezes, it is called frostbite. The parts of the body most commonly affected by frostbite are the cheeks, ears, nose, fingers and toes.

Frostbite can occur in cold winds, rain or snow. Once a part of the body has had frostbite, it is more likely to happen again. Here are our tips and tricks for avoiding and treating frostbite.

Tips for treating frostbite:

The skin will first become red and swollen and feel like it will tingle or burn. If the skin is not protected or warmed, you will feel it go numb and then it will turn gray.

If the skin freezes, the area will have no sensation and will be shiny and white.

See a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any sores or blisters appearing, your skin seems to be necrotic (darkening), or if the tissues under your skin are hard and tender.

2. What to do against frostbite?

If you suspect the onset of frostbite, start by getting warm or sheltering from the wind. Then, remove everything covering the frozen part: gloves, clothing, jewelry, etc.

Warm the area naturally using your hands if possible, but do not rub as this may make the pain sensation worse. If your hands are frozen, place them on the bare skin of your armpits or thighs.

If you often have cold and frozen hands, this article offers several tips and advice: How to stop having cold hands?

However, if frostbite affects your toes, you should absolutely avoid walking. And in order to increase blood circulation, gently move your joints.

3. Do not immerse frostbite in hot water

It is absolutely necessary to avoid immersing the part suffering from frostbite in hot water. Opt for barely lukewarm water instead, as hot water will increase the burning sensation.

However, a good hot but of course non-alcoholic beverage will help you warm up and feel better faster.

4. Don’t rub frostbite with snow

The old belief that frostbite can be cured by rubbing it with snow is dangerous… Really not to be done!

Indeed, even if it gives the impression of warming the frozen part of the body, it rather aggravates the injury and the frostbite.

5. Natural Remedy for Frostbite

Here are 3 home remedies once used to cure chilblains naturally:

  • Potato poultice: grate a raw potato and add a little warm milk. Apply to frozen area.
  • Celery water bath: grate celery stalks and leaves, and boil in 2 liters of water. Let the remedy cool down and dip the frostbitten part in it. This trick is particularly useful for curing chilblains on the feet.
  • Black mustard poultice: add a little lukewarm water to black mustard powder, until a fairly thick paste is obtained. Apply on chilblains. Remove the poultice once it is dry and rinse with lukewarm water.

6. Tiger Balm and Frostbite

The famous ointment which bears the name of tiger balm helps stimulate blood circulation, thus protecting you against the cold, among other things.

Tiger balm is an excellent cream to prevent frostbite and protect hands and feet from the cold.

So before going out, remember to massage it into the areas most at risk of suffering from frostbite, including the hands and feet. However, avoid applying it if you have the onset of frostbite, because tiger balm could increase the burning sensation.

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    7. A cream to prevent frostbite

    You will find in pharmacies and sports equipment stores creams specifically designed to prevent frostbite. These creams activate micro-circulation to warm the body.

    These anti-frostbite creams are to be applied to all areas prone to frostbite, including the face, hands and feet.

    8. What to do in case of frostbite of the eye?

    Although this is quite rare, the cornea of ​​the eye can still suffer from frostbite. The first sign of corneal frostbite is usually blurred or impaired vision.

    If you suspect your eyes are frozen, warm them up: Covering your eyes with your hands or gently applying warm (not hot) water can help thaw your corneas and minimize damage.

    See your eye doctor immediately if you think you have suffered corneal frostbite. ITS VERY IMPORTANT!

    Frostbite is completely preventable, when you know how to prevent it. Here are our tips to avoid suffering from frostbite:

    • Check the weather: avoid going out for prolonged periods when it is cold and windy.
    • Dress warmly: wear several layers of clothing, cover your extremities well and favor fabrics that dry quickly and do not retain moisture.
    • Take breaks from the heat: do not wait to be too cold before acting. Go inside regularly, or take shelter from the cold and wind, for a few minutes to warm up.
    • Drink hot liquids: Take advantage of your breaks inside to drink tea or hot chocolate. However, avoid alcoholic beverages. –
    • Protect exposed skin: you can protect exposed skin, including that of the cheeks, against the cold and the wind by applying a greasy cream or petroleum jelly (Vaseline). This will create a barrier that will prevent frostbite.
    • Stay active: to facilitate blood circulation in cold weather, move as much as possible. Walk, jump, dance, etc.

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