(INDIANAPOLIS) - Extreme cold temperatures can create injuries and complicate health issues if left unattended.
Indianapolis Methodist Hospital emergency room physician Casey Patrick says the most common cold-weather ailment is frostbite. Exposed skin changes colors and can lead to loss of fingers and toes.
Patrick says the cold and the wind can also be a trigger for some patients with asthma.
Prolonged exposure in high winds can create windburns.
Patrick suggests using common sense and remembering "what grandma always said": wear a hat and gloves, put on an extra pair of socks, stay dry, and dress in layers.
As for the myth about warming up with a shot of whiskey or a bottle of booze? Dr. Patrick says that is a bad idea. Alcohol alters your sense so you ignore the cold while it affects the body and causes you to lose body heat faster.
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