Frostbite and Urgent Care Services
Cold weather can cause an uptick in traffic in urgent care centers as people seek treatment for a variety of medical issues, such as the flu or pneumonia. However, one serious problem that may have far-reaching effects as a result of cold weather is frostbite.
This condition can occur almost anywhere when the temperature consistently drops below freezing. Intense wind chill factors can also contribute to frostbite, especially in those who work outdoors year-round. Individuals who are exposed to such conditions may want to be aware of the symptoms of this condition and when to visit an immediate care center for treatment.
Individuals who live in geographical areas where winters are harsh may want to be aware of the dangers of frostbite and what it can mean to their health. People of any age can suffer from this condition, but children and the elderly are especially at risk.
Frostbite occurs when bitterly cold temperatures cause skin and tissue to freeze. If the condition goes untreated, the affected body part can eventually experience necrosis and might have to be surgically removed. Fingers and toes are most commonly affected, but frostbite can occur on almost any part of the body. Learning to identify the symptoms can be an important factor in recognizing this condition.
When frostbite occurs, there are several tell-tale symptoms. Some are mild, but as the exposure to cold temperatures continue, they may grow more severe and can include the following:
- Numbness and tingling of the skin
- Redness of the skin
- Muscle stiffness
- Skin discoloration
Once noticeable skin changes begin to occur, affected individuals may want to seek treatment at an urgent care to avoid permanent damage to the affected area.
When to seek treatment
Since extreme frostbite can cause the loss of fingers and toes, it is crucial to seek immediate professional treatment. Our urgent care can provide the diagnosis and treatment patients need.
Not only can damaged skin and tissue become necrotic, but permanent nerve damage may also occur if frostbite is not handled correctly. In the later stages, severe skin changes can also occur. People suffering from frostbite may also show signs of hypothermia, which may include sleepiness, garbled speech, and shaking.
Immediate care technicians typically have several different treatments for frostbite. First, the affected areas are examined to determine the degree of the condition’s severity. Afterward, warm water and other heating methods may be used to bring the fingers or toes back up to normal temperature. As this can be painful, attending physicians may also administer pain medication. Overall, the focus is usually given to ensuring circulation returns to the frostbitten areas of the body, and that permanent nerve damage is avoided as much as possible.
Frostbite can be a serious condition that can affect fingers, toes, earlobes, and exposed areas of the face. While it can be avoided by limiting outdoor activities in extremely cold temperatures, when it does occur, a trip to an urgent care may help prevent serious physical complications.
Request an appointment here: https://tx-urgentcare.com or call Texas Urgent Care & Imaging Center at (832) 941-1894 for an appointment in our New Caney office.
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