(Immersion Foot)

Trench foot: A common foot condition suffered by soldiers fighting in trenches during World War I.

What it is: Trench foot is one of the many immersion foot syndromes; feet may become numb, turn red, or blue as a result of poor blood supply. Feet can have a decaying odor, and begin to swell. If left untreated the feet can start to have blisters, open sores, fungal infections (Jungle Rot). If not treated soon after, gangrene can set in; amputation or death can be the final result.

Trench foot Symptoms: (heel, toes, and entire foot)

  • Tingling and/or itching sensation
  • Burning sensation
  • Blisters
  • Loss of feeling
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Cold and blotchy skin
  • Numbness
  • Foot can appear gray
  • Prickly or heavy feeling
  • Foot is dry, red, and painful after warming
  • Fissures, maceration of the skin
  • Skin and tissue dying and falling off

Causes: Trench foot is a condition that can often be caused by long exposure of the feet to cold (60° Fahrenheit and lower), damp, and unsanitary conditions. Constrictive footwear can increase your chances of getting trench foot. Any prolonged exposure with cold damp feet can cause trench foot.

Prevention:Trench foot is easily prevented by keeping the feet warm and dry, and changing socks frequently when the feet cannot be kept dry.

Treatment:

  • Clean and dry your feet.
  • Change your socks often; keep your socks clean and dry.
  • Treat the foot by applying warm packs, or soaking in warm water for a few minutes.
  • Do not wear footwear or socks while sleeping or resting; let your feet breath.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.