Frostnip is the beginning stage of frostbite in which cold temperatures begin to irritate the skin and cause redness, numbness and loss of feeling. Tissue damage does not occur at this point, but if the skin is not rewarmed and frostbite is allowed to set in, tissue damage can occur.
Frostnip usually affects the feet, toes, hands, fingers, ears, nose and cheeks. Symptoms of frostnip include the sensation of feeling cold, tingling, prickling, numbness, loss of sensation and a red or pale appearance of the affected body part. As the skin begins rewarming, a person may feel pain and tingling. If the skin is not rewarmed, frostbite may set in and cause permanent tissue damage that may lead to amputation.