Posted: Jan 31, 2011 9:09 PM by Jeannette Hynes
Updated: Feb 1, 2011 3:00 AM
Doctors say the best advice for sub-zero temperature is to stay out of the cold. But, if you do have to go out, dress in layers to keep your core warm and cover those parts of the body susceptible to frostbite (ears, nose, cheeks, chin, fingers, toes).
Doctor Mihir Patel of Peak Vista Community Health Centers says when someone has circulation problems, that person is more likely to suffer trouble faster out in the cold than another person without circulatory issues.
"Eventually, it [the skin] can freeze to the point of irreversible damage to the tissue," explains Dr. Patel.
Patel says pay attention to your body and understand when your body has had enough exposure.
Warning signs of frostbite:
* a white or grayish-yellow skin area
* skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
Warning signs of hypothermia:
* confusion/fumbling hands
* memory loss/slurred speech
If you feel someone is suffering from either frostbite or hypothermia, Dr. Patel advises to remove wet clothing, get the person warm, and seek medical help. You can try to warm up the affected areas with warm, but not hot, water.