What do you do with the extra skin in the mean time? a.k.a. I went to Minnesota in the winter and all I got were these giant fingers

Here in the great city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, our high temperature today is -4F. All the schools in my immediate area will be closed and many more throughout the state will be starting late.
Being out in very cold weather under dangerous cir**ZIT**stances is not compulsory here, but there’s a lot of winter recreation and sometimes it happens. Having to walk in cold weather like this is something we plan for if a car should break down or get stuck. This kind of very, very cold usually only happens in January, but it happens and life still must go on.
The children get the day off because it’s too dangerous for them to wait for the bus or walk to school, but people everywhere will get up and go to work despite the cold.

frost·bite
ˈfrôs(t)ˌbīt/Submit
noun
injury to body tissues caused by exposure to extreme cold, typically affecting the nose, fingers, or toes and sometimes resulting in gangrene.

I just did a little calculating online. Our temperature right now is -5F. The wind is 15 mph with gusts to 26 mph. That means that exposed skin will become seriously damaged in less than 15 minutes.

Even though frostbite and burns land at different ends of the thermometer, the damage to the skin similar. The rapid dehydration of the skin leads to blisters as the skin tries to protect and repair itself. The deeper the dehydration goes (destruction of the tissue by burning or freezing) the more serious the injury. Frostbite has a scale of 1 – 3 degrees just like burns do. Very briefly:
1st Degree: This is called frostnip and only affects the surface of the skin, which is frozen
2nd Degree: The skin may freeze and harden, but the deep tissues are not affected and remain soft and normal. Blisters develop a day or so after the exposure and all takes about a month to heal.
3rd & 4th Degrees: Deep Frost The muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves all freeze. The skin is hard, feels waxy, and use of the area is lost temporarily, and in severe cases, permanently. The blisters that develop with this are purple to black in color and are filled with blood. If the exposed area isn’t treated, the damaged bits (nose, toes, fingers) can fall off. If the blisters aren’t tended well, they could become infected, gangrene sets in and the damaged bits have to be amputated to keep the necrosis from spreading.
Frostbite feels kind of itchy at first, can get quite painful and feel like a burn, but when the feeling of pain goes away while still exposed, it means the nerves have been affected. If those nerves are frozen, when they warm up, the pain is absolutely horrendous.

This dear has second degree frostbite on a few of her fingers. This video is of a medical professional draining the fluid from one of her blisters. Enjoy


YT Poster: Tikes16
Run Time: 5:31

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15 comments

  • LOL! -5 and schools are closed? Wind 15 gusting to 26? Today in Winnipeg it’s -21, with windchill feels like -31.. and its a warm day! Lately its been -40 and earlier today wind was gusting to 70. Yup ok I guess I will wear gloves and a scarf today and the world goes on. Thanks for the chuckle! Stay warm! Minus 5… hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

  • I couldn’t even finish watching this. I burned my hand with steam and hot boiling water almost 2 weeks ago and burned two of the same 3 fingers. So far the top layer has blistered and is now peeling and the 2nd layer is also burned. I’ve never been is so much pain from a burn before in my life when it happened.

  • Fanny, I thought that I was the only Winnipeger on this site and I was about to give a weather report, as well. No need to now. I seldom wear a hat or gloves and only wear boots if there is a fresh snowfall and the sidewalks haven’t been cleared. I will congess that I don’t walk too far in this weather, but I do walk. Schools only close if the pipes freeze and there is either a flood or no water supply. Even if there is a blizzard and the school buses can’t go out, the schools are generally open. Why the heck do we live here, anyway?

  • Heck, I’m in Alabama and even with the threat of snow, they close schools and the stores sell out of milk and bread. No joke!!! We don’t know how to handle it….although I LOVE it!!!

    • What part of Alabama? I’m in Baldwin County. I lived in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham for the greater part of 12 years, though. I was even going to comment, “Thank **ZIT** for South Alabama!” But I do love the snow. I’m just glad ours melts off in a couple of days so we don’t have to worry so much about the nastiness of dirty slush after a couple of weeks. We get to play in it for a couple of days, then everything goes back to normal!

      • Escambia County, AL here, and yeah, any snow at all shuts down the schools. The kids love it, but they don’t get to see it too often. I love it, too, but I’m glad we don’t get it by the foot!!

  • We had several inches of snow in southeast PA early in the week and we drove in it. I teach and our school didn’t even have a delay. Our temps were in the single digits later in the week with terrible wind chills.

  • Even funnier…here in Virginia, it was 7 degrees and they opened schools 2 hours late because they didn’t want the kids waiting out in the cold for the buses. Really?!!? I grew up in PA and I walked to school in colder weather than that. They didn’t close the schools! Oh yeah and I saw a commercial the other day for chocolate flavored cough syrup. WHAT? Nooooo!!! These kids need to take the “says-cherry-flavored-on-the-bottle-but-really-tastes-like-sludge-out-of-an-old-Volkswagon” cough syrup. We gotta toughen up these kids!!!!

  • haha this is hilarious! I’ve lived in a few temperature zones: born in so. calif on the beach, now in Guelph Ontario (close to Toronto for you Rob Ford fans out there). I have enough medical issues to refuse going out in the cold wen i don’t want to – must say I know we’re not as cold as Minnesota or Winnepeg, but even so when it is cold and damp, it truly sucks! I had a friend from Sask. prairies who went to San Francisco to meet in-laws, and he said he was so cold with hovering @ freezing and damp by the ocean he couldn’t stand it! (I said he should have taken the block heater from his car to plug himself in!) But the worst was in So. England one cold winter around 1981; 6 inches of snow and the roads were closed. People shoveling bare-handed. All the homes only had single panes (no double glazing) so it wouldn’t warm up inside. 5 gallon hot water tanks were the norm, so good luck with that hot bath… plus my father in law had this fixation that steam from a bath tub would damage the house, so he would scurry in to Open The Window as soon as you got the towel around you. I’ve canned all day using a 5 gal pot and I don’t know what he was on about.

    And now i’m an old, cold lady yapping about the weather while the cats hog the heating pad. Yup!

    • Oh, and PS, did you know that in Montreal they have snowplows the width of a 6-lane highway? I lost track of my original point here which was: Snow in winter – its all about how prepared you are!

  • Her poor fingers reminded me of T-day 83 when I dropped a fully cooked 22lb Butterball on my foot! Within moments I had a blister that covered the entire topside of my left foot & could barely see my toes! The ER Doc was not happy at being called away from his dinner table…

    Amazing “Bedside Manner” from the Angel of Healing in this Vid!! I had no idea Frostbite was so similar to burn, my heart goes out to the gal w/ the puffy fingers!!

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