Signs of Hypothermia
Shivering is the body's first defense against hypothermia. Symptoms of mild hypothermia include shivering, dizziness, confusion, nausea, fatigue, hunger, faster breathing, trouble speaking, lack of coordination, and increased heart rate. Symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia include confusion, trouble speaking, lack of coordination, weak pulse, slow and shallow breathing, low energy, and unconsciousness. Shivering is also a sign of moderate to severe hypothermia; however, shivering eventually stops as the hypothermia worsens.
The symptoms of hypothermia appear gradually, so people often don't notice them at first. Symptoms of confusion associated with hypothermia can also prevent a person from noticing their symptoms. People with hypothermia often make risky and poor decisions such as trying to remove warm clothing because they are confused.
Signs of Frostbite
Frostbite occurs in several sages. The first stage is frostnip. The skin will pale or turn red, and it will feel very cold. A prickling feeling and numbness will occur next. A person with frostnip may feel pain and tingling ass the skin warms. Frostnip will not permanently damage the skin. The stage affects the epidermis of the skin.
The second stage is superficial frostbite, and it affects the epidermis and dermis of the skin. With superficial frostbite, the skin will look white or pale. The skin may be soft to the touch, but ice crystals begin to form in the tissue during this stage. The skin may begin to feel warm again. If you rewarm the skin when it is in the superficial frostbite stage, the skin may look blue and purple as it is warming. A tingling, stinging, or burning sensation is also common when warming at this stage. A fluid filled blister has the potential of forming 24 to 36 hours after warming.
The third stage is severe or deep frostbite. The skin will feel numb, and you may temporarily loose a sense of feeling in the affected area. Joints and muscles may no longer work. Sever frostbite affects all layers of the skin including sub-cutaneous tissue. Blisters will form 24 to 48 hours after warming. Then, the skin will turn black and hard because the tissue is dead.