Preventing Frostbite in the Hands

The hands can be at risk for frostbite when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. With the sub-zero temperatures many are experiencing this week across the nation, here are a few tips to help you prevent a cold-related hand injury.
1. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Wool or a wool synthetic is warmer than cotton. Mittens are more protective than gloves. Insulate with several thinner layers of clothing rather than only one or two thicker layers. Top with a waterproof outer layer. Carry extra pairs of gloves with you in case the ones you are wearing become wet.
2. Check to be sure that no area of skin is exposed (for example, where the glove and the arm sleeve meet).
3. Check the fingers for signs of frostbite on a regular basis if you need to be out in the weather for any length of time.
4. Avoid use of alcohol or cigarettes. Both increase susceptibility to developing frostbite. Certain medical conditions (for example, neuropathy, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud’s) and medications can also increase risk of developing frostbite. Take extra precautions if you have a condition that puts you at higher risk.
Be aware. Be safe.

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