Skip to main content

What is Frostbite?

Most people living in northern climates have heard about frostbite. Exposing the skin and underlying tissues, especially of the extremities including the hands and feet, to extremely cold temperatures can lead to the development of frostbite. If cold exposure is severe enough, tissues can actually die.

frostbite

Ice Formation Inside Tissues

The body works hard to maintain the temperature of all of its tissues, both at the core of the body and at the periphery. Peripheral tissues such as the fingers, the toes, the ears, the nose and the lips are, however, at highest risk for damage as a result of exposures to extremely cold temperatures. When conditions are most dangerous, this extreme exposure can lead to the actual formation of ice crystals inside the tissues, first occurring near to the surface tissues just below the external skin, and then progressing to deeper tissue structures. When this happens, frostbite develops.

How Ice Damages Tissues

When ice crystals start to form in tissues, the cells that make up the tissues are not equipped to deal with its effects. Cells start to get injured because of disruption of cell membranes and the loss of cellular integrity. If the exposure continues, the body tries to deal with the exposure to the cold by regulating the performance of the circulatory system. Unfortunately, this typically means that the first response is to shunt more of the blood to the vital organs at the core of the body, worsening the cooling of the extremities. Soon afterwards, the blood vessels in the extremities try to overreact and start dilating and then constricting before the body recognizes that it needs to stop supplying blood to the extremities altogether to preserve as much heat in the core as possible.

Loss of Tissue Oxygenation

As the freezing progresses, a reduction in blood flow and the damage sustained by the blood vessels themselves can lead to loss of oxygenation of the tissue, what is known as necrosis. When tissues stop getting the oxygen that they need, the tissue begins to die. After a frostbite injury it is not uncommon for surgeons to have to wait for several days before they can determine how much of the tissue has actually died. Injuries to tissues can be severe enough to warrant amputation, and rewarming of the tissues must be done carefully in order to minimize further injury.

Preventing Frostbite

When it comes to frostbite, prevention is absolutely the best approach. It is not simply enough to dress more warmly as the temperature drops. Awareness of overall conditions can be very important. For those into mountaineering, exposure to a low temperature at higher altitudes can be more rapidly destructive. Combining low temperature with exposure to water can also be extremely problematic. And frostbite is not only a province of winter extremes, it can occur in those people who work with dry ice or with liquefied gases such as liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen.

buy steroids guangzhou

Popular posts from this blog

Safeguard the Achilles

One of the most painful tendon injuries is Achilles. But there are also ways to avoid these injuries. Here are some of them: You’ll feel a burning and piercing in the tendon above your heel and it can even make a crackling sound when you move it. Any higher up your calf and it’s more likely that you’ve strained or pulled a muscle. Rupturing your Achilles tendon is a exceptionally painful experience and you’ll know when you’ve done it. Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is made of thousands of individual fibers of collagen. Restricted blood flow to this area slows repair and pain will worsen if you keep training . Four important factors in healing the Achilles are: rest, ice, compression and elevation. If your tendon is harmed take a break from all weight bearing sport (except swimming) for at least 2 weeks. You can recover from mild injury in a couple of weeks but a severe one can take 5 months. In order to prevent Achilles injury in

Diabetes Food Pyramid

This diabetic food pyramid functions in a similar way to the regular food pyramid. One of the main differences is that the diabetic food pyramid focuses on limiting sugar intake . Diabetes is a disease that prohibits people from eating sugar at the same levels that they used to. This does not mean that all diabetics have to avoid sugar like vampires avoid the sun! Some people have mild cases that enable them to eat sugar once in a while. Others have to avoid it at all costs. The diabetic food pyramid is a lifesaver to many people. Just by looking at the pyramid they can tell which foods to eat and which ones not to. It also suggests serving sizes and suggestions for planning whole meals. The diabetic food pyramid has six categories of food groups. At the bottom the main group is grains, starchy vegetables, and beans. The second grouping on the diabetic food pyramid includes vegetables and fruits . The third includes diary products, meats and other sources of protein. At the t

Causes of Easy Bruising: Reasons Why People Bruise Easily

Bruising , a reddish or purple discoloration under the skin, most often results from trauma to the small blood vessels, called capillaries, but can also occur spontaneously. How and Why Bruises Occur Blood leaks out of the capillaries and accumulates under the skin, gradually absorbing over several days. Bruising most often occurs because people run into objects or experience other trauma. Most bruising is easily explained, but frequent bruising that occurs without obvious cause needs prompt investigation, since several serious diseases can cause bruising. In general, women bruise more easily than men. How Aging Increases the Risk of Easy Bruising Bruising increases as people age for several reasons. Skin thins as people age and the capillaries become more fragile. The layer of fat that cushions blood vessels and protects them from injury becomes thinner as well. Older people often take medications and supplements that thin the blood and contribute to easy bruising. Visi