Mercy Health - Cincinnati Provides Eight Tips for Preventing Frostbite

(CINCINNATI; January 18, 2016) – Mercy Health – Cincinnati, which provides advanced, quality, compassionate care in your neighborhood through its care network, wants to keep the community safe and healthy this winter and provides the following eight tips to prevent frostbite injuries.

Frostbite occurs when the skin freezes during exposure to cold temperatures. It can cause permanent damage and most commonly affects the ears, nose, fingers, toes, cheeks and chin.

To prevent frostbite, Mercy Health recommends that you:
1. Limit your time outdoors in freezing temperatures
2. Dress in loose layers including a waterproof and windproof outer layer
3. Protect your feet and toes with extra layers and waterproof boots that go over your ankles
4. Fully cover your ears
5. Wear insulated gloves or mittens
6. Stay dry – wet clothing increases the chance of frostbite
7. Drink plenty of water or warm, hydrating drinks
8. Watch for early signs such as redness, stinging, burning, throbbing or prickling followed by numbness

If you think you have frostbite, seek medical care immediately.

Until you see a doctor, go someplace warm and avoid walking on frostbitten toes or feet. Warm the affected area in warm, not hot water, until the skin appears red and feels warm. If you aren't able to access warm water, hold the affected area close to the body and breath warm air on it through cupped hands. Do not use heating pads or other external heat sources and do not rub the affected area. Loosely bandage the area and place cotton balls between frostbitten toes.

To find a Mercy Health physician in your neighborhood, or to learn about the services provided at Mercy Health, please visit e-mercy.com/physicians.asp or call 513-981-2222.