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Frostbite occurs when the skin and the tissue just underneath it freezes. This usually happens when a person has been outside in extremely cold temperatures. Frostbite is most common on the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks, and chin, and is often accompanied by hypothermia, a dangerous drop in the body's core temperature. There are three stages of frostbite, spanning the early mild tingling sensation to permanent tissue, muscle and joint damage, and possible amputation.

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1. What Causes Frostbite?

The most common cause of frostbite is exposure to extremely cold temperatures without adequate protective clothing. The chance of frostbite increases dramatically in temperatures below 5 degrees Fahrenheit, even in low to moderate wind conditions. Frostbite can also occur after touching low-temperature surfaces such as ice.

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