1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Frostbite

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FROSTBITE, a form of mortification (q.v.), due to the action of extreme cold in cutting off the blood-supply from the fingers, toes, nose, ears, &c. In comparatively trifling forms it occurs as “chaps” and “chilblains,” but the term frostbite is usually applied only to more severe cases, where the part affected becomes in danger of gangrene. An immediate application of snow, or ice-water, will restore the circulation; the application of heat would cause inflammation. But if the mortification has gone too far for the circulation to be restored, the part will be lost, and surgical treatment may be necessary.