UW Health reminds Wisconsinites to bundle up to avoid frostbite

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 9:10 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Health experts are reminding Wisconsinites to bundle up this winter as they return to outdoor activities in order to prevent frostbite.

Frostbite is actually a burn, UW Health notes, and usually happens when bare or under-protected skin is exposed to very cold temperatures.

UW Health burn and wound surgeon Alexandra Lacey said said there are very simple measures that people can take to prevent this condition.

“Often it’s little things we just don’t think about, like making sure we have extra warm clothes in the car even for short drives,” Lacey said.

Lacey advised that people check the weather before they go outside, keep their clothing dry and consider waterproof boots and gloves if they will be outside for long periods of time.

According to a news release, people should also wear multiple layers of clothing, add a windproof layer on days where windchill could be high and avoid alcohol when doing outdoor activities because it can cause dehydration.

Lacy also said people should have extra blankets or warm clothes in their car, tell people where they are going and watch their friends get into their home if you drop them off to ensure they get inside.

Doctors did note signs of mild frostbite are hands or feet turning pink or red after rewarming with normal sensations restored. UW Health said that if your hands or feet turn purple or are numb, this is a sign of severe frostbite and requires immediate medical attention.

UW Health also said if people have large or bloody blisters on their hands or feet after they warm up, this is a sign that people require emergency medical attention. Doctors emphasized that people cannot warm up at home in this situation.

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