Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Healthcare

Cold winter conditions: Learn the difference between frostnip and frostbite

See also

Winters can be harsh on anyone’s skin especially your extremities. With extreme temperature outside overexposure to the frigid cold for long periods of time will affect a person’s nose, hands and feet.

When the skin gets too cold it will become extremely pale, numb, cause blistering, redness or giving you a feeling of pins and needles and at times a burning sensation.

What is the difference between frostnip and frostbite?


Frostnip is actually the mildest for of frostbite. It gives ones skin a very chilling feeling turning skin pale or red. People may feel a slight tingling or numbness and if exposed a little long a possible burning feeling. Getting frostnip isn’t serious but a condition that you still need to care for because it can turn into frostbite.


Frostbite is caused by extreme cold as well. This is when the cold actually causes tissue damage to the skin. There are first, second and third degrees of frostbite depending upon how long you were exposed to the elements. This can be serious and professional medical treatment is required since it affects the circulatory line of your extremities.

First degree frostbite:

Skin is pale, feels cold, numb and stiff on the surface while underlying tissues are still warm and no permanent damage occurs.

Second degree frostbite:

Skin may turn white or blue and have a feeling of being frozen or stiff. Most deep tissues under the skin are not harmed but may not be as warm as they should be. Usually when the skin is warmed blisters are formed. Medical attention is advised.

Third degree frostbite:

The skin will turn blue, white or mottled. The tissues that are beneath the surface skin will feel like they are frozen and hard to the touch. When this stage occurs there are deeper parts of the body that are also affected such as nerves, tendons, muscles and blood vessels which require medical attention immediately.

Medical treatment:

First thing you want to do is move the person carefully to a warm place.

Remove their wet clothing and any other object such as rings, bracelets and wrist watches that can constrict the injured areas as the body warms.

Wrap all the injured and frostbitten areas in sterile dressing is you can. Be sure to separate each digit as they are wrapped carefully. Try not to move the exposed fingers and toes as much as possible to prevent further damage to them.

Transport the person to the emergency room as soon as possible or call for an ambulance.

Stay warm and be careful when exposed to the elements!

© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

Never miss another news or health story again! Subscribe to Beverly Mucha @ Healthy Living Examiner and receive a free notification every time something new is published.

You can also follow Beverly on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

More reading topics from this author:

Jackson Cooking Examiner

Home and Living Examiner

Jackson Celebrity Examiner

Mobile Holidays Examiner

Happy Reading!



  • Transgender cop
    A transgender police officer is stepping down from her position to run for office
    Political Office
  • Easter eggs
    Craft delicate, hand-painted eggs with flowers and other designs celebrating spring
    Easter Eggs
  • Subway message
    Subway customer finds 'Big Mama' written on her order
    Subway Message
  • Working from home
    Working from home can be an exciting venture. Get tips to ensure productivity
    Get Tips
  • Limes
    Rising cost of limes could be putting the squeeze on your favorite restaurant
    Expensive Limes
  • Pope Francis
    Religion: Pope Francis instructs how to fight against Satan
    Morning Mass

Related Videos:

  • Master Mumps
    <iframe width="512" height="288" src="//;VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Genetic screening software for future parenthood before you find a partner.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517848021" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Actress Valerie Harper says she's cancer free
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518198281" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!