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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 2/18/2006 10:37:30 AM EST
I am playing in a hockey tournament this weekend and the temperature is well below zero...like -20*F and the rink is outdoors.

After my first game my pinky fingure got really cold...really cold! I ran it under warm water and then regained feeling. I woke up this morning and it still kinda hurts at the tip, not so much hurt, but like a tingly feeling. It's swelled/blistered ever so slightly. No major discoloration. Might be a little red but no dark or white. I guess it could be explained best by if you got burned...that kind of feeling.

I debated about going to the hospital as the last thing I want is to lose a figure over a damn hockey game but it just seems so minor. I just got the bare minimum symptoms and I don't want to go in there and have they say "it'll be fine...no worries."

What should I do? I also thought it could be a little frostnip, but really...how would you tell?
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:48:20 AM EST
Is it turning black??

Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:50:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 10:56:52 AM EST by thirsty]
It wasn't blue, was it? As long as you feel pain, it should be okay. You just froze your skin, a stage of frostbite, but nothing you won't recover from. Bad frostbite is when you completely lose blood flow, and the flesh turns blue or black. That represents a time when you should go to the hospital, and you'll most likely lose your frozen finger.

Don't use warm water to warm up any frozen flesh. Always start with cool water, and gradually warm up as the feeling returns. The warm water will shock the flesh and nerves, and cause more damage than was already there.

EDIT: Oh, and it would be best to try and protect your pinky from the cold until it feels better and your blood vessels are fully dialated again (until blood flow is normal). Right now it will be painful because freezing damage was done. Your body cuts off it's blood supply to cold appendages in order to maintain your core temperature at normal. That is why you get numb in the extremities after being out in the cold for awhile. Take it from a guy who has fallen through the ice of a frozen pond.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:51:14 AM EST
No. No blackness. This happened last night. It might be a tad, just a tad red but no blackness.

Really, I'm just wondering if this is something I need to go to the ER for...
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:53:16 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:54:22 AM EST
It will probably peel for a day or two but you will live.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:58:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
early stages. just keep an eye on it. if the redness or swelling gets worse, see you doc on moday in the office. that's not worth an ER visit. Most likely it will heal on it's own.

That was kinda my plan. The only reason I ask, is because a guy on our team DID get from frostbite on the same finger. He came in today and it was blistered as shit. Looked like he had a marble there. And our fingers looked about the same when we just finished. Course, the difference probably was the fact that I warmed mine up win some warm water in the sink, I don't think he did.

Course, having a couple beers afterwards in the cold did not help I'm sure.

Has anyone else experienced this? Outcome? I know they say that once you get it, it will be easier to get the next time. The last thing I want is for my damn pinky to hurt everytime its cold out for the rest of my life...especially being in Montana.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:08:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By thirsty:
Don't use warm water to warm up any frozen flesh. Always start with cool water, and gradually warm up as the feeling returns. The warm water will shock the flesh and nerves, and cause more damage than was already there.

Why would hot water damage your skin if it's not hot enough to damage the skin under normal conditions? I sometimes use shock treatment to get rid of itches. The water isn't hot enough to cause any damage, but when I run it over an itchy area I feel an intense itch, and then it goes away and I don't itch for a few hours.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:17:28 AM EST
I remember from Boy scouts you are always supposed to warm it up gradually. But a few months ago I read that that is an old wives tale and you should warm up your finger as soon and as fast as possible(obviously you don't want to use water so hot it burns your skin, but warm water should have been fine)

Of course YMMV. I am not a doctor, so don't take my advice and don't sue me.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:21:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 3:33:51 AM EST by theliberating1]
Hey dude, you must be in Bozeman... my roommates are playing in it as well. You know Sam or Clark ? They are trying to convince me to go watch them play at 5 tonight... fuck that shit.

Read the latest issue of "Outside Bozeman" on page 60 there is a great article on frostbite treatment and prevention. If you don't have the latest issue here is a link to it online outsidebozeman.com/magazine.php?action=fullArticle&articleID=568
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:05:58 PM EST
I've frozen my fingers and toes many times while driving sled dogs.

You'll be fine

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