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Superficial Frostbite

When frost nipped skin isn’t warmed up, it’ll often develop into superficial frostbite. At this stage, the tissue under the skin has begun to freeze and will appear white and bloodless, although it will remain soft and pliable when you touch it. The affected part feels very cold and numb and may tingle, sting or ache. Frostbitten tissues will often develop blisters a day or so after exposure; these blisters will harden and turn into thick, black scar tissue that takes a few weeks to be replaced by new skin.


  • Find Shelter
  • Re warm hands by placing them under the armpits, against the abdomen, or between the legs
  • Gradually re warm the affected area by warm water immersion, skin-to-skin contact, or hot water bottles
  • If blisters develop during re warming, do not break the blisters. The risk of infection is very high
  • Dot not rub or massage frostbitten area