Get the best home remedies for frostbite
Right in the midst of winter, the air that once you loved the most turns out to be so cold that it becomes unbearable for your soft and tender skin. Your cheeks suddenly glow as if they have got a color transformation inspired from the red light on the signal. It seems like the air enters everywhere in your body despite the 4 layers of clothes you are wearing and sends the unsettling shiver down your spine. Along with all the other discomforts and skin problems during winters, frostbite is very common but a serious condition. We all have encountered the situation of our skin getting injured in chilly winds and subzero temperature. But there are many other facts like what will determine the extent of damage done by frostbite? Most of you would answer it this way- the lower the temperature is, the more will be the damage. Unfortunately, you do not understand what frostbite actually is.
In fact, you might have understood what frostbite is when or your close friend or relative had it, but you are answering the question wrong because you don’t know what causes frostbite. Why should you know it? We have more than one reason for you to know the deeper details about frostbite. One is the severity of the problem. Frostbite is often not counted in serious health or skin ailments, but it can cost you some very useful parts of your body. Many people in the United States give their lives to frostbite, and many others lose their fingers, toes and sometimes hands. Considering these outputs, you must know everything about frostbite. One more reason is its prevalence. It can occur to anyone living in cold climate, and your children are at high risk of frostbite because a child’s body has a tendency to loose heat quickly. Thus it is important for you know not only about the home remedies for frostbite, but also some very crucial details about this rampant problem.
It would be unfair to call it a skin condition because it in most of the cases is not confined to the skin. Knowing the symptoms of frostbite and knowing when to call for a help is of utmost important if you want to live your life with all your body parts in place. Let us first see all the symptoms of frostbite before proceeding to the home remedies for frostbite.
Symptoms of frostbite
The symptoms of frostbite will differ from person to person depending on how far the effect has penetrated into your skin. Some commonly seen initial symptoms of frostbite are:
- The areas which are directly exposed to the chilly wind like your toe, fingers or hand become dead cold and you will start loosing the flexibility once you are frostbitten. This is the very first symptom of frostbite and hence will be least noticed. You may ignore it thinking the normal reaction of the body to cold.
- If you are a keen observer, you may figure out that it is frostbite by carefully looking at the changing texture of your hands. The skin affected by frostbite will be pale yellow or white in color.
- The hands, toes, and fingers will start to itch all of a sudden and there will be stinging and burning sensation in body parts as well. The more you itch, the more painful your skin will become.
- In later stages, you will feel numbness in the parts of the body that are affected by frostbite. If the major portion of your body is suffering from frostbite, you may not be able to move or respond.
- A strange pain will surround your skin and the pain will increase with time as your tissues will freeze.
- There will be swelling of the skin affected by frostbite and also the skin surrounding the area. The swelling will be noticed at later stages.
- Your skin after turning into pale yellow or white will gradually become red. The extent of redness will speak of the amount of damage done. In case it is light red in color, you can control it with first aid, for dark red skin, you will need medical assistance.
Cause of frostbite
Frostbites occur when the skin is exposed to freezing temperatures. The freezing temperatures can make the skin hard and numb. Mostly fingers, toes, cheeks, chin and ears are prone to frostbites. It usually begins with mild tingling sensation and redness in some body parts. At this stage, it can be easily cured by warming the skin by soaking it in warm water or blowing warm air. But as it becomes severe, only home remedies for frostbite can save you.
We know that frostbites are a result of exposure to extremely cold weather, but let us try to understand the scientific aspect. The supply of oxygen to the extremities is reduced to ensure that your vital organs get the maximum of blood supply. This is body’s natural mechanism to keep you alive in unfavorable conditions. Sometimes the blood supply to certain tissues is blocked and this leads to the death of healthy tissues. Also due to extremely cold weather ice crystals form inside the tissues this damages the blood vessels.
The extent up to which frostbite will affect you is not decide by how cold the temperature is, but it will be governed by the time you stay in that condition. If you expose the skin to cold wind for too long, or do not do anything to treat the area affected by frostbite, chances are high that you will pay for it in a short time. Based on this factor, we can categorize frostbite into four different categories.
In general, we say the frostbite is of three types: Frostnip, Superficial frostbite, and Deep frostbite in the increasing order of the damage they do. But according to doctors, they classify frostbite into four classes.
- First-degree frostbite: First-degree frostbite is nothing serious as it affects only the epidermis- the outermost part of the skin. You will feel itching and burning sensation in your skin, but there will be no pain or swelling. With the use of home remedies for frostbite, you can get instant results in the first-degree frostbite.
- Second-degree frostbite: In this type of frostbite, the layer below the epidermis, known as dermis, is also affected by the chilling weather. Here also swelling will be less commonly seen, but the pain, tingling, and burning sensation will be more that the first-degree frostbite.
- Third-degree frostbite: This is third-degree frostbite and hence affects three layers of the skin- the epidermis, dermis, and the fatty tissues beneath the dermis. Here you will observe swelling after some time of the frostbite attack, and you will need home remedies for frostbite immediately in order to keep thing under control.
- Fourth-degree frostbite: This is the most harmful one, and its effect is not confined to just skin, the muscles, tendons and even bones are affected by fourth-degree frostbite. Mountaineers often are attacked by the fourth-degree frostbite and hence it becomes very difficult for them to recover. Immediate medical assistance is required in fourth-degree frostbite and later on, you can rely on home remedies for frostbite to fasten up your recovery.
Who are at risk?
Virtually we all are at the risk of frostbite and the temperature surrounding us decides whether we will suffer from frostbite or not. But practically every one of us takes proper measures to save our self from the chilly winds, but let us see who all are at very high risk of frostbite.
- All those who have to stay out of home for too long in winters are highly likely to have frostbite attacks. One such category is soldiers. They have to do their duty despite the freezing temperature outside.
- Children are also more likely to have frostbite compared to adults because a child’s body loses heat rapidly and already cold body parts will freeze really soon.
- Homeless people who do not have a shelter to protect them from harsh winds are at very high risk of frostbite. Every year many people die due to extremely cold weather and all of them are homeless.
- Diabetes also increases the risk of frostbite because sometimes this disease causes the narrowing of the arteries. This leads to the reduction in blood supply that easily becomes nil at very low temperature.
Do you know who us beck weathers? Beck weathers was one of the team members of the unit which climbed the highest mountain in the world. Two times during the expedition he was left by his fellow climbers thinking he was dead and one of those times the reason was frostbite. He was unable to move his legs or hands; in fact, he stopped responding to what the other people around him asked. This made them conclude that frostbite has claimed yet another life and they left him in the middle of the ice. Somehow he managed to reach a survivors camp. Frostbite affected one hand of the climber severely and also his nose and five digits were badly frostbitten, but he was once again lucky enough to recover.
Beck weathers is not the only mountain climber who have had such kind of experience and it is very common to see so many mountaineers acutely frostbitten. Some of them recover while many others lose their body parts. They know the risk of staying on mountains for so many days, but still, choose this as their job or hobby as all of them are strong enough to deal with frostbites. But we common people are not that strong because of our lazy lifestyle and bad food habits.
Many of the sports enthusiasts have been incapacitated by frostbite, but this cannot be the case with us. Neither out of our own choice nor due to the circumstances can we allow frostbite to bother us much. We make our own efforts every day to keep our body safe and healthy. We cover our hands and with warm gloves and mittens, wear a lot of clothes and also avoid going out when the wind is blowing at a high speed. But with the decrease in temperature, these efforts need to be assisted by the home remedies for frostbite. There are several natural home remedies for frostbite that can melt the freezing ice crystal and let you move your hand with the same flexibility.
Home remedies for Frostbite
You might have heard of aloe vera before. Even if you are not that familiar with herbs, aloe vera is a component of almost every other beauty product, and hence it is likely that you might also have used it. People use it for acne treatment, lightening up the complexion of the skin, and also for moisturizing the skin. But aloe vera also is one of the best home remedies for frostbite. Aloe vera gel is very effective in treating frostbites at any stage. It is easy to use and has soothing effects on the skin. It repairs the dead skin in the frost-bitten areas and renews the skin. It is recommended that natural and pure aloe vera gel should be used for treating the frost bites, making it one of the best home remedies for frostbite.
How to Use?
- Slit an aloe vera leaf and obtain the gel
- Apply it on the affected areas and allow it to work for 15-20 minutes.
- Reapply the gel 4-5 times a day for faster relief from frost bites.
- Aloe vera contains Vitamin E, which is very good for all kinds of skin ailments.
The previous home remedy for frostbite was all about applying on the skin affected by frostbite, but here you have to use an herb in a different manner. Sage is a powerful anti-bacterial herb used to cure many diseases. Sage has been revered for centuries for its medicinal as well as culinary uses since it was named for that quality. For using sage as one of the home remedies for frostbite you have to prepare a concoction using the leaves of the herb. Since this is toxic in nature, it is advised to mix this herb along with other ingredients like olive oil.
How to Use?
- Take 10-15 sage leaves
- Boil approximately two cups of water.
- Add sage leaves to the boiling water after washing.
- This way you will get a healthy concoction.
- Consume it twice a day to get relief in frostbite and also use other home remedies for frostbite that involve topical application.
Sage will take care of the internal heating of the body and we need some other herbs that we can use for applying externally. Aloe vera- the first of all the home remedies for frostbite, is of course, a topical gel. It is highly effective as well, but in case it doesn’t suit your skin, or natural aloe vera leaves are not available, you can use mullein leaves. Mullein flower, one of the best of all home remedies for frostbite, helps in curing the frost bites easily. It can be used directly on the affected areas to reduce swelling and pain.
How to Use?
- If fresh mullein flowers are available, collect a few of them
- Crush mullein flowers in olive oil and make a fine paste
- Apply this on the affected areas by rubbing it gently.
Your skin tissues are damaged due to frostbite and they take too long to repair without the help of home remedies for frostbite. Even if you do not have pain or itching, the skin takes the time to become normal as the healing of the tissues take a lot of time. If you want to get your normal skin back within a few days, you can take help from one of the most instant home remedies for frostbite- horsetail. Please read it as a name of a herb and it has nothing to do with any animal on this earth. Horsetail consists of silica and collagen which helps in the reconstruction of skin tissues and cell regeneration.
How to Use?
- Boil horsetail in water and apply it on the affected areas after cooling it.
- You can repeat the same process twice every day until our skin tissues become as good as they were before the were frostbitten.
I am very fond of banana, and some of you also must e loving the taste of the fruit. Although eating the banana and drinking banana shake is not going to help you in dealing with frostbite, but the waste part of banana- the peel can help a lot. Banana peel has anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties that can help in reducing the swelling during frost bite, making it a really effective home remedies for frostbite. Also, banana peels are easily available. Eat a banana and instead of throwing the peel in the dustbin, use it as one of the home remedies for frostbite.
How to Use?
- Take a banana peel and rub the inside on the affected part.
- Do it several times a day until swelling reduces.
- Make sure you do not apply excess of pressure on the already burning skin.
Onion has active compounds which can boost the blood circulation in the body. Increase in blood circulation automatically sends a warming effect to the skin tissues. Using onion as one of the home remedies for frostbite is like giving life to the then dead skin cells and tissues. Onion poultice should be used for frost bites to improve the blood circulation and re-warm the affected area, making it one of the best home remedies for frostbite.
How to Use?
- Make a cold poultice out of mashed onions.
- Apply it on the frost nip or frostbite area directly.
- This procedure can be repeated 2-3 times a day for effective results in reducing the swelling.
This one is also a name on the list of effective home remedies for frostbite. By the way, have you ever heard anything about cayenne pepper? Have you ever used it? I am asking all this because it is a part of almost all the home remedies due to its amazing and unbelievable properties. Cayenne pepper contains compounds that enhance blood circulation and alleviates the pain during frostbites, making it the most effective frostbite remedies.
How to Use?
- Consume cayenne pepper along with food for getting relief from the symptoms of frost bites.
Those who don’t like herbal tea at all try out ginger tea and you will go mad over the taste. If taste the only good thing about ginger tea, I would never have recommended it to you people. But I know the benefits of this as well as other home remedies for frostbite, and thus I know that ginger tea is something everyone should have in winters. People with frost bites must consume ginger because it boosts the metabolism in the body bringing back the body heat, making it really effective frostbite remedies. It enhances the blood circulation in the affected parts of the body thereby reducing the swelling and maintaining the heat loss.
How to Use?
- 2 spoons of ginger juice should be had along with honey 2-3 times a day
- Ginger tea should be consumed at least twice a day to raise the body heat and bringing back the circulation in the frost-bitten areas. You can use ginger as one of the home remedies for frostbite anytime.
This is somewhat unusual of all the home remedies for frostbite. Not because it is not effective, but it is an indirect treatment for frostbites. Rosehip is a herb that is rich in vitamin C. Yes, the same vitamin we try to find in oranges and lemon. All of us are aware of the benefits of vitamin C for our skin. And thus, rosehip also is beneficial for easy and fast repairing of the skin cells damaged during frostbite.
How to Use?
- Apply rosehip oil directly on the affected areas. You can get it from a health store near your house.
- Drink 2 cups of rosehip tea every day
Many of us are big addicts to tea. And in winters it is the best beverage anyone can have but have you very though of giving a healthy twist to the addiction of tea? Adding herbs to your cup of tea makes it really healthy drink. Herbal teas, the healthiest of all the home remedies for frostbite are an excellent way to combat the severity of frostbites. Drinking one or two cups of herbal teas every day not only cures frostbites but also fights against other diseases. Herbal tea is not only one of the home remedies for frostbite, but they also act as immunity enhancers.
How to Use?
- Chamomile tea is highly beneficial for curing frostbites
- Drinking feverfew tea once a day helps in treating frostbites
- Peppermint tea is also considered useful in curing the ailments in the case of frostbites.
Witch hazel has a bit unusual name, and it works the same way as one of the home remedies for frostbite. You may or may not have heard of the herb witch hazel, but it is a very famous one for treating many skin related problems. Witch hazel helps in re-warming the frozen areas of the body and also prevents further infections. It is one of the most sought natural remedies for frost bites as every part of the plant is full of medicinal properties.
How to Use?
- You can prepare an extract with the help of the flower of witch hazel or even the leaves.
- Take some water and boil it for 2 minutes.
- Once it starts boiling, add witch hazel leaves or flowers to it.
- Let the water boil for more 20 minutes.
- After the mixture cools down, strain the leaves and use the water as home remedies for frostbite.
- Apply witch hazel extract or oil to the frost bites or frost nips directly.
With the appropriate knowledge and precautions, frostbite can be prevented even in the coldest and most challenging environments. The following precautions will help in preventing frostbite.
- Avoid exposure to cold temperatures as much as you can, especially when you have already suffered from frostbite in past.
- Wear mittens and gloves to cover the hands and feet. Also, have layers of clothes to preserve the body heat. This will not allow the wind to directly hit your skin.
- Look out for early symptoms of frostbite – Frostnip. Now you know every symptom of frostbite, and also are aware of the actions that you are supposed to take for every symptom, the only thing left to be done is to act.
- We often cover hands and legs, but our ears are left uncovered. Protect your ears during winters with woolen caps and mufflers as they are also one of the tender parts of our body.
- Do you know drinking alcohol raises your chances of suffering from having a frostbite attack? Avoid alcohol as it causes heat loss in the body. You should drink warm drinks like tea or coffee more often during cold weathers as all of them will increase the temperature of your body.
- We often lit up a cigarette whenever it is cold outside, but this is something home remedies for frostbite does not recommend. Avoid smoking, as nicotine decreases the blood circulation thereby delayed healing of frostbites.
- Rubbing your hands or your hands to legs and face are a good idea until your skin has shown the signals of frostbite. Avoid any kind of friction with the affected area
- Do not touch cold metal objects or frozen items. Try to get as much heat from the surroundings as it is possible.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to water in winters. If your clothes are wet, change them immediately and in case you want to have a bath, make sure the water is hot enough to beat the cold of the environment.
With the above-stated precautions and the home remedies for frostbite, you can easily prevent as well as treat frostbite. All the above precautions and home frostbite remedies will be helpful when someone is frost-bitten. However, these can be followed only during the initial stages. One must approach the doctor if the symptoms persist. The doctor might prescribe medicines that are available over the counter, to help in the faster healing of the frost bites. Depending on the condition of your skin, after reading this article you can yourself judge whether you need a medical assistance or the home remedies for frostbite will be enough.