Frostbite is a painful condition that affects your body’s extremities when exposed to extreme cold. NHS states that it can happen at any temperature below 31 degrees Fahrenheit. While frostbite can occur anywhere, it’s most common on the nose, lips, feet, hands, and ears. The symptoms of frostbite to look for include burning, skin that’s pale and hard, swelling, and possibly blisters.
Frostbite happens because our body constricts the vessels when the skin is cold to allow more blood movement to the vital organs. So, areas like your nose can freeze, damaging the cells and tissues. Severe frostbite can lead to infections and tissue death, meaning it must be removed. Therefore, you must warm your nose slowly when it experiences frostbite. Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests getting warm as soon as possible, washing your nose, and bandaging it if needed. You’ll also want to avoid getting the area cold again since this can further damage the skin. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons also recommends avoiding rubbing the area or using heating pads to warm it up since numb skin can be damaged easily.
Frostbite on your nose is preventable by covering the area properly when going out in cold temperatures. For example, wear a scarf or face mask to warm the area. You’ll also want to get inside if you get wet. Additionally, caffeine and alcohol leave the skin more open to injury.