Everyone is susceptible to frostbite. But did you know children face a greater risk of this condition because they actually lose heat from their skin faster than adults?\nMaking matters worse, children may ignore how cold and uncomfortable they are rather than immediately seeking help. Learn how adults and children alike can prevent and identify the signs of frostbite.\nRemember, severe frostbite requires immediate medical attention. Find UPMC locations near you.\u00a0\nWhat Is Frostbite?\nFrostbite is the freezing of body tissue, typically skin, that occurs due to exposure to extremely cold temperatures. This condition most commonly affects the fingers, toes, nose, ears, and chin, among other body parts.\nFrostbite can attack when temperatures are below freezing. Wind and humidity can quicken the effects of frostbite.\nHow to Prevent Frostbite\nWhen temperatures are extreme, always dress in layers and warm clothing and limit your time outdoors in the cold.\nLayer properly to protect yourself from the cold:\n\n\n\nLayer 1 \u2013 wear clothes that will keep moisture away from the skin. Thermal underwear, moisture-reducing winter sportswear, cotton socks, and glove liners are good items to use. The first layer, like the other layers, should not be so tight that circulation is affected.\nLayer 2 \u2013 wear loose clothing that is intended to resist dampness and maintain body temperature. Heavy pants, sweaters, and sweatshirts are good items for layer two.\nLayer 3 \u2013 wear tightly woven moisture-resistant outerwear. Moisture-resistant coats and jackets, hats, scarves, gloves, and boots are good third layer items.\n\n\n\n\nBring children inside at regular intervals and inspect fingers and noses for signs of frostbite. If you are away from home, take extra clothing along. In the extreme cold, take care to keep yourself and children dry\u00a0\u2014 wet clothing can increase the chance of heat loss.\nIdentifying and Treating Frostbite: Know the Signs\nEarly frostbite is characterized by waxy, white, and hard skin that feels numb and has a persistent burning sensation. In more severe cases, frostbitten skin will become blue and mottled or splotchy.\nSevere frostbite requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect your child or someone else has frostbite, remove cold and wet clothing. Dress the child in clothing that is loose, warm, and dry, and take them to a hospital.\nDo Not\n\nRub or bump the area affected by frostbite.\nUse direct heat, such as a heating pad or hair dryer to warm the affected area.\nPop blisters that appear. Popping blisters on frostbitten skin can cause infection.\n\nTreating Frostbite\nIf you are not able to get someone with frostbite to a hospital right away, begin first aid\n\nProvide something warm to drink, and keep them hydrated.\nKeep them warm with clothes and blankets.\nSoak frostbitten area in warm water (between 101\u00b0 to 104\u00b0 F). If you don\u2019t have a thermometer, dip your elbow in the water. If the water is too hot for your elbow, it\u2019s too hot. Maintain temperature of water by adding warm water if necessary.\nSoak affected area until it becomes pink.\nIf the face is frostbitten, use a soft washcloth. Soak the washcloth in warm water and wring out any excess.\nAfter the affected skin turns pink, dry the skin\u00a0\u00a0\u2014 gently but thoroughly\u00a0\u00a0\u2014 and wrap with clean gauze bandages.\nIf the toes or fingers are frostbitten, place gauze bandages or cotton balls between toes and fingers to permit these areas to dry. Thoroughly drying affected areas can prevent infection.\nThe affected person may have a burning sensation after warming.\nThe affected skin may blister, swell, become painful or turn blue, red or purple.\nSeek medical attention as soon as possible for a thorough exam and additional treatment.\nAvoid further exposure to the cold\u00a0\u00a0\u2014 especially with the affected areas.