How Long Does It Take To Get Frostbite?

Frostbite YouTube
Frostbite YouTube

It is colder in Central Illinois today than Antarctica, Alaska, Siberia and the South Pole, so if you are exposed outdoors, frostbite isn’t necessarily out of the question. In fact with the brutal temperatures we are experiencing, frostbite can start in a matter of minutes.

It’s the kind of cold that so dangerous it could cause you the loss of the tips of your nose, ears, chin, fingers or toes if you’re not careful. It’s called frostbite, it happens quicker than you could imagine, and it sucks!

The National Weather Service has created a wind chill chart that shows the time it might take to develop frostbite at varying temperatures and wind speed.
Wind Chill Chart
Wind Chill Chart Source: National Weather Service
For example, in negative 18 degree wind chills, it only takes a half hour for skin to get frostbite, in negative 32 degree wind chills, it will only take 10 minutes, and with negative 48 degree wind chills, which is what we are experiencing today, it only takes five minutes to get frostbite.
How do you know if you have frostbite?
Frostbite isn’t pretty. If you start to feel numbness or burning, that’s the first sign of frostbite. Go inside and try to warm yourself up. You should be able to warm up within 10 minutes. If you can’t warm the area up, and you start seeing blistering, extensive redness, or black discoloration of the skin, you need to seek medical help immediately.
What does Frostbite look like?
Seeing these pics might sway you to put on an extra layer or two, and make sure you aren’t exposed to these life threatening temperatures.

Hand Frostbite

Face Frostbite

Toes Frostbite
Source YouTube Medical King

And if THAT doesn’t persuade you to bundle up, maybe hearing this story from girl who lost her hands, toes, and almost her life!