Frostbite: What To Watch For - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Frostbite: What To Watch For

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The best advice to stay safe during this weather is to stay inside.

That's not always possible, errands need to be run, and someone's got to pump the gas into our cars.

State health groups warn people to pay close attention to their bodies when working out in the cold.

Anything 18 degrees below zero and colder means frostbite can set in within 15 minutes.

The bodies extremities are most at risk.

Fingers, toes, earlobes, and the tip of a nose are most vulnerable.

Because when it gets that cold the body will limit the amount of blood circulating to the extremities.

Keeping the vital organs warm, but leaving the extremities at the mercy of the cold.

Emergency room doctors say even short trips outside can cause problems quickly.

"This is not a time to drink, and try to walk home from the bar because having a couple of drinks may make you feel warm but your body isn't certainly warm," says Genesis ER Director Steven Bashor.

Frostbite does have a specific set of symptoms.

The skin will turn white or grayish yellow.

It will feel unusually firm and will be numb.

Those are signs of frostbite, and the best advice is to head to a hospital.

Doctors can help warm the area back up, and give out stronger pain medication.

Recovering from frostbite is painful.