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The treatment of frostbite can be complicated

As someone expected to work outdoors in the state of Wisconsin during the winter months, you may have serious concerns about your health and safety. For example, if frostbite sets in, you understand the impact it can have on your health and ability to earn a living in the future.

Even if you believe you can treat frostbite at home, it's best to visit a local hospital to ensure that you fully understand the extent of your injury. Some of the things your medical team may do include:

  • Rewarm your skin: Using warm water, your doctor will rewarm your skin for a period of 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Pain medication: As your skin rewarms, it's natural to have some pain. Your doctor may provide oral medication to help deal with this.
  • Wrap the injured area: Depending on the severity of the injury, loosely wrapping the area can help protect the skin as it heals.
  • Remove damaged skin tissue: For your skin to properly heal, all damaged or dead tissue must first be removed. It's possible that your doctor may have to wait several weeks or months before removing damaged or dead tissue.
  • Surgery: If you suffered extreme frostbite, immediate surgery may be necessary to repair or remove dead tissue.

If your frostbite occurred while doing your job, report the injury to your employer and keep them abreast of your treatment and the progress you're making. Your medical team may suggest that you take extended time off from work, as to recover and ensure that you avoid cold temperatures. In this case, you may want to file a workers' compensation claim.

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