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Frost Bite - Symptoms, Signs and Cure for Frostbie

Frostbite is a dangerous condition which the body undergoes due to exposure to severely low temperatures. The damaging effects of frostbite on the human body are caused by the extremities of the body being frozen due to decreased blood flow to the area.

Frostbite is caused by the human body's automatic coping mechanism when it experiences very low temperatures. The body takes urgent steps when it detects dangerously low temperature levels. Fortunately or unfortunately, the body takes steps to survive even at the cost of losing some bodily functions.

The first thing that the body does when experiencing extremely low temperatures is to limit the blood flow to the extremities, such as the arms and the legs of the body. This ensures that the body has enough blood to circulate to the more vital organs of the body which will experience increased activity due to the conditions. This also helps to maintain the core temperature of the body by preventing the circulating blood from cooling down due to exposure to the extremities of the body.


Frostbite Symptoms & Treatment - How to Treat Frost Bite?

As exposure to very cold temperatures continues, the body experiences what is the "hunter's response". In this situation, the blood vessels at the extremities of the body widen for a few moments and then constrict again. These periods of constriction and widening of the blood vessels at the extremities continue as the body tries to prevent causing damage to the extremities of the body. However, the returning blood from the extremities will be colder than the core temperature of the body and will serve to bring this temperature down. Once the body becomes susceptible to hypothermia, the body permanently shuts down the blood vessels of the extremities, which signals the onset of frost bite.

The damages caused by frost bite are caused by freezing and by the loss of oxygen to the cells. The cells of the extremities die quickly once ice crystals form outside the cell walls. In the interior of the cell, dehydration also causes damage so that the cell is completely destroyed. This damage is prominent at the onset of frost bite.

Damage from oxygen loss often happens during the warming of the frost bitten extremities. In this regard, the main cause is the damage undergone by the blood vessels during freezing. Once blood begins to flow through the extremities, it finds difficulty in providing oxygen to the cells as the cell walls have been damaged with holes in it. This often results in a host of skin problems and other complications which ultimately determine the extent of the tissue damage resulting from the frost bite.