Red or patchy white skin
Common areas where frostbite occurs are the fingers, toes, nose, ears, and chin, says Leigh Vinocur, MD, an emergency physician and national spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in Baltimore, Maryland. Make sure to be aware of these areas when looking for frostbite symptoms. If any of these turn red and itchy, that could be a sign of chillblains (a painful skin inflammation in response to the cold), while patches of white or numbness could signal frostnip (an early warning sign of frostbite), says Dr. Vinocur. “Frostnip means permanent damage hasn’t been done yet, but that’s your body telling you that you better get warm,” she adds.
Prickling feeling, like “pins and needles”
If you don’t warm up after frostnip has kicked in, frostbite will enter its early stages. Exposed skin may become numb or start to itch, burn, or sting, says Dr. Vinocur. (Because of the numbness, many people can’t tell when frostbite has set in. To avoid the condition worsening, pay attention to the color and texture of the exposed skin.) Besides frostbite symptoms, here are 15 weird things that happen to your body in the winter.