Frostbite: 5 Facts, 3 Things To Avoid, And 8 Naturally Effective Home Remedies

Ever regretted walking outside during those bitter cold winter seasons, without grabbing your gloves, applying moisturizer, or covering your hands or feet properly? Only to discover that your hands are red, burning, and feels like someone stuck a needle in them! That dear friends, is frostbite, which occurs when your skin is exposed to freezing temperatures for a long period.

Ever regretted walking outside during those bitter cold winter seasons, without grabbing your gloves, applying moisturizer, or covering your hands or feet properly? Only to discover that your hands are red, burning, and feels like someone stuck a needle in them! That dear friends, is frostbite, which occurs when your skin is exposed to freezing temperatures for a long period.

Frostbite Fast Facts:

-What occurs during frostbite is that your skin and the tissues below it get sort of damaged due to their inability to withstand the freezing temperatures, much like when your skin gets red, blotchy, and burnt because of overexposure to the sun.

-Frostbite commonly affects a person’s ears, chin, nose, fingers and palms, feet and toes.

-If frostbite gets serious, it can

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incur damages to their blood vessels and nerves, and in the worst case scenario, if that part is affected badly enough, it may even need to get amputated! Yes!

-So better watch out for these frostbite classic symptoms and take care: Numbness to pain, itchiness, skin discoloration, blisters, stiffness in the joints and hardening of the skin.

Did you know:

Dawson City in Canada has a traditional drink known as Sourtoe Cocktail, which is basically an actual human toe which has been preserved and dehydrated in salt and used to add into any drink of your choice if you’re brave enough to drink it. The guy whom the toe belonged to was a miner in the 1920s that had to get it amputated after it was frostbitten.

What To Avoid:

A word of caution is advised when treating these frostbitten areas

-Make sure you treat them very gently and not apply any pressure on it or it could severely harm the tissues below.

-If you see any blisters, do not try to burst them or rub them.

-Do not apply sudden excessive amount of heat from fireplaces, hair

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dryers, heating or hot packs, and the like, as it will damage the tissues and take longer to heal.

Frostbite Home-remedies:

In most mild cases, frostbite can be treated with a few simple home treatments, as long as the only frozen parts are the skin and top most layer of tissues. Here are some quick and effective frostbite cures.

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1. Aloe Vera

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The gel of aloe vera fights bacteria, inflammation, moisturizes, reduces pain, and helps regenerate damaged cells, which all works wonders for healing various skin issues including the frostbitten areas of your skin.

How To Use: All you have to do is mix a cup of fresh aloe vera sap with some like warm water in a cup and then gently apply it to the frostbitten zone.

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2. Normal Warm Water Or Tea-Soaked Water

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You can

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use warm water or tea, as the components of tea helps naturally eases the delicate skin, increases blood flow to the frostbitten area, relieves pain, and the burning sensation it causes.

How To Use: If you are using warm water, make sure it is not too hot and its temperature ranges between 100 – 105° F or 37.7-43.4° C. If you want to use tea, then soak 10 tea bags in a gallon of hot water for about 30 minutes. Then soak the frostbitten parts in the tea bath once it has cooled to room temperature. Another tip is to apply the warm used tea bags gently on the frostbitten part or dab a cotton ball in the warm water or tea mixture and then apply it on the area.

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3. Camphor

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The oil from camphor soothes yet generates heat in the frostbitten area and improves blood circulation so that the pain gets eased quickly.

How To Use: Add a drop of

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camphor oil to the area and gently massage it. Adding about 1 to 5 drops is more than enough.

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4. Mustard Oil And Olive Oil

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The natural acids in mustard oil and olive oil, are known antibacterial components which increase blood circulation, moisturize the dry skin, prevents bleeding and further breakage of the sensitive skin.

How To Use: Lightly warm some olive oil or mustard oil and gently massage a few drops onto the frostbitten parts.

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5. Hot And Cold Compress

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Alternating between hot and cold compress on the frostbitten area will reduce the pain, swelling, and itchy irritation, effectively in no time.

How To Use: Make sure the hot compress is at a bearable temperature and not too hot. Place it on the area for about a minute and then follow it up with

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a cold compress for about 30 seconds. Keep doing this back and forth, so the area reverts to normal body temperature.

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6. Cayenne Pepper

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Or red chili pepper, is one of the quirky cures for frostbite. Cayenne pepper is known to be a remedy for stomach issues and constipation, and is said to instantly lower the pain and stinging feelings that happen when your frostbitten.

How To Use: First, boil 10 grams of cayenne pepper in a cup of water on a low flame for around 20 minutes. Once the boiled mix cools down to room temperature, soak the area with frostbite in the cayenne pepper water for a few minutes or use a clean and soft cloth to dab into the water and gently wipe the area.

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7. Ginger

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Considered to be a natural powerhouse of anti-inflammatory and pain-killing

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properties, it also enables quick healing from frostbite.

How To Use: Drink lots of ginger tea or mix a teaspoon of freshly crushed ginger juice with a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of honey, to apply to the area or drink about 3 times a day. Another trick is the usual method of boiling and simmering 4 slices of ginger in a cup of water and then soaking the frostbitten part in the cooled solution. If all else fails, gently massage a slice of fresh ginger onto the area for about 3 minutes.

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8. Hydration

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Make sure you remain hydrated as dehydration is said to make the frostbite worsen or take longer to heal. Keep drinking lots of clean and warm water, fresh fruit juices, and even hot milk or cocoa. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, and alcohol as they dehydrate your further, and worsen the effects of the frostbite.