Deep-cold weather has struck Western Canada, with record frigid temperatures expected throughout the next week — here is what would be useful to know about frostbite. Temperatures will be in the negative double digits through the weekend, down to -36 C in Edmonton and -27 C in Calgary, and -22 C in Regina, -26 C in Saskatoon and -17 C in Winnipeg. Frostbite hits when the tissues freeze beneath the skin, an injury that can affect any exposed body parts, such as the nose, ears and fingers. According to Environment Canada, the risk of frostbite is low from -10 C to -27 C, but between -28 C to -39 C exposed skin can freeze within 10 to 30 minutes. If it gets to -40 C to -47 C frostbite can take only five to 10 minutes, and at -48 C to -54 C just two to five minutes. Alberta Health defines frostbite on a scale of degree from first degree through fourth degree injury. To treat frostbite, seek professional medical assistance. The body part needs to be promptly rewarmed in order to “prevent problems such as infection, dead tissue, or even amputation of the frozen part.”The government website advises to seek medical attention for frostbite if the body part is cool or changes colour, pain increases, or starts to swell, pus, get warm, or turn red. There may also be red streaks leading from the wound, and the person may develop a fever. The injury needs follow-up medical attention, which may include antibiotics or pain medication. At home, the patient must protect the exposed area by keeping it from the cold, wearing sunscreen when outdoors, avoiding contact with the area, and applying aloe vera.