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 9/23/2019
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.