Rapid changes in body temperature..any effects?

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Offline stana

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Rapid changes in body temperature..any effects?
« on: 21/01/2008 18:32:22 »
Hey guys i was wondering, if  was outside in the cold for long periods of time, and i came in and went into a red hot bath (still freezing cold) would there be any effects or outcomes?



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Rapid changes in body temperature..any effects?
« Reply #1 on: 21/01/2008 19:16:26 »
Firstly, the title is a bit misleading.  The fact that you are out in the cold should not mean anything below a few millimetres of the surface of your skin should have any significant change in temperature.  If you body temperature itself drops by even a few degrees, you will be suffering from hypothermia, and potentially very ill.

One of the ways the body stops the cold penetrating deep into into the body is by reducing the blood supply to the skin, so less warm blood gets to the cold skin, so the blood stays warmer.

One of the consequences of going from very cold to very hot is that the blood supply will go rushing back into the skin.  The biggest risk I can see in this is a sudden drop in blood pressure (assuming you don't mean the bath is scalding hot - which would be a problem whether you were coming in from the cold or not).  Potentially, a sudden drop in blood pressure could cause you to faint, which if you are in the bath at the time, could in theory cause you to drown (not saying this is by any means inevitable - many people go to sleep in a hot bath and don't drown).  The biggest problem is probably not even drowning but if the bath is too hot, and is likely to cause you to critically overheat (hyperthermia rather than hypothermia), if you were unconscious you may not notice this.

If the bath is at a safe warm temperature (one that would be safe even if you had not just come in from the cold), and you are not lying in the bath in a position that would allow you to drown if you became unconscious, then I doubt much harm would come of it.