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Frostbite Risk Still Lingers

Last updated on Tuesday, January 7, 2014

(UNDATED) - You may have been stuck indoors for a while now, but a doctor says it is better to wait for the weather to warm up than to risk permanently damaging your skin.

Dr. Greg Bauwens, an emergency medicine physician at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, says even as temperatures finally rise above zero later today, Bauwens says the risk of frostbite or lesser skin damage is high anytime the temperature is below freezing.

That risk sometimes depends upon the person. "The elderly or those with peripheral vascular disease have a high risk, and anyone is at risk if their clothing gets wet - it will take a shortage time frame for skin damage to occur," said Bauwens.

That time frame varies from person to person, but with temperature and wind chill factors as low as they are now, Bauwens says as little as five to ten minutes of exposure can cause permanent damage in some people.

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