Winter storm Elliott is still making his way through mid Michigan. Temperatures today are bitter cold. The current temp as I am writing this is 6 degrees, with a "feels like" temp of -15 degrees. Forecasted high temps thru monday top out at 20 degrees with lows around 10-14 degrees.

I heard terrible stories growing up about people losing fingers, toes, hands and feet because of frostbite. Thankfully any frostbite I have ever experienced has been minimal. Take precautions this weekend if you are going to be outdoors for any period of time.

I don't know much about frostbite so Mayo Clinic helped me provide you some important information.

Here's a brief synopsis about frostbite:

Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. In the earliest stage of frostbite, known as frostnip, there is no permanent damage to skin. Symptoms include cold skin and a prickling feeling, followed by numbness and inflamed or discolored skin. As frostbite worsens, skin may become hard or waxy-looking. Exposed skin in cold, windy weather is most vulnerable to frostbite, but it can affect skin covered by gloves or other clothing. You may not realize you have frostbite until someone else points it out. You can treat frostnip by rewarming. All other frostbite requires medical attention because it can permanently damage skin, muscle, bone and other tissue.

Be on the lookout for frostbite symptoms:

At first, cold skin and a prickling feeling. Numbness. Skin that looks red, white, bluish-white, grayish-yellow, purplish, brown or ashen, depending on the severity of the condition and usual skin color. Hard or waxy-looking skin. Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness. Blistering after rewarming, in severe cases. Frostbite is most common on the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin. Because of skin numbness, you may not realize you have frostbite until someone points it out.

Mayo Clinic says that rostbite occurs in several stages:

Frostnip. Frostnip is a mild form of frostbite. Continued cold exposure leads to numbness in the affected area. As your skin warms, you may feel pain and tingling. Frostnip doesn't cause permanent skin damage.

Superficial frostbite. Superficial frostbite causes slight changes in skin color. The skin may begin to feel warm — a sign of serious skin involvement. If you treat frostbite with rewarming at this stage, the surface of the skin may appear mottled. And you may notice stinging, burning and swelling. A fluid-filled blister may appear 12 to 36 hours after rewarming the skin.

Deep (severe) frostbite. As frostbite progresses, it affects all layers of the skin as well as the tissues that lie below. The skin turns white or blue-gray and you lose all sensation of cold, pain or discomfort in the area. Joints or muscles may stop working. Large blisters form 24 to 48 hours after rewarming. The tissue turns black and hard as it dies.

When should you see a doctor?

Seek medical attention for frostbite if you experience: Signs and symptoms of superficial or deep frostbite. Increased pain, swelling, inflammation or discharge in the area that was frostbitten. Fever. New, unexplained symptoms. Seek emergency care for hard, cold, blotchy skin. Also get emergency medical help if you suspect hypothermia, a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can be produced. Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include: Intense shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness and loss of coordination. Wrap the person with hypothermia in warm blankets until help arrives.

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