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Freezing weather and frostnip

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) -- Lots of people spent the day digging out - and with the strong winds the process could be put on repeat for the next few days.

And you may be in danger and not realize it until it is too late.

WDAZ'S Danielle Saitta joins us live to talk about Frostnip and when you should seek medical help for it.

A lot of people have heard of frostbite, but the early stage of it can be just as harmful and it's something to definitely look out for when you're in weather this cold.

Bundling up is a necessity during the winter.

“I'm going to be honest it's pretty brutal, I think I have eight layers on,” says Michael Landsberger.

“Underneath layers I got four different layers on a shirt, long sleeve, and like two jackets,” says Jessie Pehlae-Hanson.

Many of us think we have never suffered from frostbite.

But it has three different stages;

The first one is called frostnip which can occur even if you've layered up.

Even though frostnip is the first stage of frostbite it can still have some pretty uncomfortable effects such as scaling-redness-tenderness. Take it from someone like me who was outside for just ten minutes yesterday and when I got home I found that my entire ear was red and I woke up this morning with pain

“I got stuck in our apartment parking lot and I had to shovel it out and I was only wearing a snapback so that doesn't really cover your ears up but I was outside for only five minutes and I guess the same thing happened to me,” says Pehlae-Hanson.

While it doesn't damage your skin permanently -- frostnip will cause your skin to appear white and waxy due to contraction of the blood vessels below the skin.

This is why your skin will turn red and you'll experience pain.

“Here, I'm standing here and my finger is getting cold,” says Sabrina Arguru.

“We've been out here for probably about an hour and even with all the protection I have on, my eyelashes are kinda freezing together a little bit,” says Landsberger.

Depending how long you've been outside, you might develop some systems that could require medical attention in just stage one of frostbite.

Also you should especially not stay out if you've suffered a wound in the past.

I had a previous injury so I don't really have a lot of blood flow in it anymore so it gets cold a lot quicker than the rest of my body,” says Pehlae-Hanson.  

If your skin starts to blister seek medical help right away because that's a good indication you have frostbite and that can lead to amputation.

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