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Frostbite takes just a few minutes in current Michiana weather

With a wind chill advisory into Wednesday morning, health experts are still urging people to stay indoors. If you must go out, there are some things you should know to avoid frostbite.

Most of us are generally aware of frostbite, an injury caused by the freezing of skin and other tissue. But not everyone realizes that it can develop in just a few minutes when temperatures and wind chills drop below zero.

Brandon Hopkins is a nurse practitioner at Beacon Health System’s Medpoint Urgent Care in Goshen.

"Just the short timeframe that you're outside can cause severe injury to your skin," Hopkins says. "We're often forgetting just to cover our nose and cheeks and face and ears."

If your skin is turning red and hurts, that’s an early sign to seek shelter quickly. Once you find shelter, it’s important not to try and warm up too fast by applying direct heat, such as a space heater or heating pad. If you do this, your skin can burn but you might not feel it because you’re numb.

"Then, if there's further concerns where you're not warming up like typical, after maybe 15, 20 minutes, and that (red) coloration of the skin is coming back, you may want to seek urgent care."



Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).