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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Frostbite
      Category : Health Centers > Injuries and Safety


Alternate Names : Frozen Fingers, Toes, OR Nose, COLD-Induced Injury

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Frostbite occurs when exposure to cold temperatures damages the skin or other tissues.

What are the causes and risks of the injury?

Anyone who is exposed to extreme cold for a significant length of time has a risk of developing frostbite. Windy weather may contribute to frostbite, too, by blowing body heat away from the body.

Frostbite occurs more often among:

  • those who work outside in extremely cold areas
  • mountain climbers
  • people who are caught in the elements without proper clothing
  • people taking certain medications, such as beta-blockers, that decrease the blood flow to the skin
  • smokers
  • people who have blocked arteries, atherosclerosis or other problems that affect blood circulation
  • people with diabetes
  • people with nerve problems that decrease their ability to feel injuries in certain parts of the body, a condition called neuropathy


    Next section


    Frostbite: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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