When Should I Be Worried About Frostbite?

The skin may turn red, but should not blister or swell.

If the skin does not seem to warm, if it remains numb, or if it does blister or swell, seek immediate medical attention.

Frostbite requires emergency medical care.

If you think you may have frostbite, get out of the cold as soon as possible.

When should I go to the doctor for frostbite?

When To Call a Professional

If your skin is painful, gray or blue, hard to the touch, blistered or extremely swollen, contact your doctor or visit an emergency room. If you are treating yourself for frostbite and notice blisters or dark blue or black areas under your skin, see your doctor immediately.

How long does frostbite last?

Sometimes, numbness at the tips of fingers or toes does not improve. A body part that has been frostbitten will get colder faster than other parts in the future. You may not know the full extent of damage to frostbitten areas for about 6 weeks. Permanent damage may result when blood vessels are injured.

How long before frostbite turns black?

After the area is rewarmed, it will develop large blisters within 24 to 48 hours and the area will turn black and hard because the tissue has died, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What does minor frostbite look like?

Early signs of frostbite include red or pale skin, prickling, and numbness. Seek warm shelter if you notice signs of frostbite.