Common Terms Explained
Frostbite is the medical condition in which localized damage is caused to skin and other tissues due to freezing. This happens to parts of the body furthest away from the heart. Frostbite is most commonly experienced on your face, hands and feet.
Signs and symptoms of frostbite include:
- Cold skin
- The "pins and needles" feeling, like when your hand falls asleep
- Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin
- Hard or waxy-looking skin
- Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness
Frostbite occurs in several stages:
- Frostnip. Frostnip the the mildest form of frostbite. Your skin pales or turns red and feels very cold. Continued exposure leads to prickling and numbness in the affected area. Frostnip doesn't permanently damage the skin.
Hypothermia is when your core body temperature is dangerously low. Hypothermia can cause your body to shut down, and cause a person to become disoriented. This is extremely dangerous while on the water.
Signs and symptoms of early onsets of hypothermia are:
- Faster breathing
- Trouble speaking
- Slight confusion
- Lack of coordination
- Increased heart rate
The signs of severe hyporthermia are:
- Shivering, although as hypothermia worsens, shivering stops
- Weak pulse
- Clumsiness and lack of coordination
- Slurred speech or mumbling