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Frostbite from an Ice Pack

Take Care When Icing an Injury Not to Cause Frostbite


Updated January 11, 2010

Frostbite on ankle

Frostbite on an ankle after treating with an ice pack improperly applied directly on the skin.

(c) Melanie Martinez

Applying ice (part of first aid RICE treatment) can ease inflammation after someone has a sprain or bad bruising, but applying ice incorrectly can lead to frostbite.

It's important not to put the ice directly on the skin nor leave the ice on for too long. There are several documented cases of frostbite from ice packs.

Make sure you know how to properly apply ice to an injury.

Have a frostbite picture you'd like to share? Tell us about your experience, see other readers' frostbite injuries and submit your own frostbite picture.

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