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Possible frostbite? If not, what is it? If so, what do I do? UPDATE in first post


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One of my DD's is completely heat intolerant. She loves, loves, loves the cold. We've been having dangerous cold here for a few weeks (it's in the 40s today! edit: after a few weeks of 0ish temps with windchills in the -20s and -10s), and I was arguing that she could not go out for longer than 5-10 minutes because she doesn't feel cold. She's a teen, so she listened about as well as expected. She rollerbladed for about a half hour one day.

The top part of her ear got a huge blister on it. We noticed it about 5 days ago. The blister popped (maybe the second night?) when she laid down to go to sleep one night. However, the top part of her ear is swollen still. It is not black or anything, just swollen. It never hurt. 

Is this frostbite? If so, what do I do about it? If it's not frostbite, any ideas? Doctor visit or just wait it out?

 

UPDATE: DD went to doctor this morning. Yep, it's frostbite, although not a bad case. Some Rx cream (haven't picked it up yet, so not sure what it is) and Advil to reduce inflammation. Keep it gently covered for part of the day to keep cream on. Wear a loose hat covering the ear when outside. Recheck in a week. Doctor doesn't think it'll need much but some time to reabsorb the fluid that seems trapped in there. 

Edited by historically accurate
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3 minutes ago, maize said:

How cold is dangerous cold?

The Mayo Clinic site suggests that frostbite can occur in thirty minutes if wind-chill temperatures are about -16*F. Has it been that cold? 

It's been hovering around -10 to 10 degrees with windchills in the -20s. 

Today is the first warm day we've had.  

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I have recently researched this because my dd just recovered from frostbiting an ear!  In her case it was well below zero and her hat had slipped up, exposing her earlobe, during a race.  I don't think it sounds like frostbite.  There is usually pain during the healing process and sharp pain as it warmed up.  It could be, but I would want to rule out other possibilities rather than just assume it is frostbite.  If it is just mild frostbite, there is nothing really to do other than wait for it to heal.  

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3 minutes ago, historically accurate said:

It's been hovering around -10 to 10 degrees with windchills in the -20s. 

Today is the first warm day we've had.  

That is cold!

Is her ear numb?

I think it is worth having a Dr. look at.

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I was going to say the odds of frostbite from temps in the 40's was pretty negligible, but wind chills of -20s is a whole different ball game.  That does sound like frostbite; I'd want to have it looked at. 

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I would take her in, simply because the ear is swollen.  My son had what we think was a bite and his ear turned red and swelled up.  My neighbor, an EMT, told us to go to the ER.  At the ER the Dr. said never wait with a swollen ear.  There is so little blood flow to an ear that if it is swollen it is easy to not get enough blood ciruclation to the ear.  In our case it turned out to be a staph infection, maybe from a spider bite.  Antibotics cleared it up real quick.

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16 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I was going to say the odds of frostbite from temps in the 40's was pretty negligible, but wind chills of -20s is a whole different ball game.  That does sound like frostbite; I'd want to have it looked at. 

Yeah, I was so excited about today's temps, I forgot to mention the previous temps LOL. 

 

I'm calling her doctor now to see if they can get her in. 

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  • historically accurate changed the title to Possible frostbite? If not, what is it? If so, what do I do? UPDATE in first post

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