The human capacity for physiologic adaptation to cold is minimal. A cold environment can be a threat to the skin, leading to a subsequent fall in core body temperature. Many physiologic, behavioral, and environmental factors predispose to the global effects of cold injuries. Physical injuries caused by cold have two forms: systemic forms such as hypothermia and localized forms such as frostbite. Reduced temperature directly damages the tissue, as in frostbite and cold immersion foot. Vasospasm of vessels perfusing the skin induces chilblain, acrocyanosis, and frostbite. The degree of damage caused by cold is related to four factors: temperature, exposure time, wind intensity (temperature sensation), and high altitude.