Frostbite is seldom seen in areas with temperate climates. It occurs at sub-zero temperatures or at temperatures just below freezing but with a wind (wind chill). At some temperatures frostbite can occur within minutes. Note the blistering and swelling caused by tissue freezing. Severe frostbite may result in loss of fingers and toes or other exposed body parts.
Review Date 11/13/2021
Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.