Chicago

What Does Frostbite Feel Like? Chicago Trampolinist Describes ‘Burning-Type Pain’

The risk of frostbite is very real in extreme cold, and NBC 5 talked to one woman who was treated for it and is sharing her firsthand experience.

Kristle Lowell, a trampolinist, can be found training at the Morgan Park Sports Facility most days of the week.

She also has Reynaud’s syndrome, which causes fingers, toes and limbs to feel numb during cold temperatures.

The syndrome makes her more vulnerable to frost bite, which she got last year while competing in Russia for the world trampoline championships.

"We went out sight seeing--went to see churches," she recalled. "I instantly felt it on my ears ... once I started feeling burning-type pain, I knew it was serious."

Lowell immediately got medical attention. She also went on to compete--winning a bronze medal.

Dr. Arthur Sandford is a burn surgeon at Loyola University Medical Center.

"It's the tips of the toes, nose, ears," that are most vulnerable to frost bite, he explained. "All the things far away from your body."

He says in weather like what Chicago is experience this week, prevention is key. He said frostbite can take hold within minutes of being outside.

Kristle says she always bundles up and takes the cold seriously. She wants other to do the same.

"Be extremely careful," she said.

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