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Wet, cold days? Watch out for trench foot

Trench foot, which is also known as immersion foot, is an injury that occurs when your feet stay wet for long periods of time. You may have trench foot if your feet have been soaked for a long time and you’ve started to develop tingling or pain as a result.

Symptoms of trench foot are frustrating but many can be treated. Here’s what you should know about this injury and the treatment you’ll need if you suffer from it.

Symptoms of trench foot

Trench foot has several symptoms that you will begin to recognize as they develop. These may include:

  • Prickly feelings or numbness
  • A heavy feeling in the feet
  • Red, dry or painful skin when the foot becomes warm
  • Cold, blotchy skin
  • Pain and swelling
  • Itchy sensations
  • Tingling sensations

It’s possible that your foot could develop blisters that will result in the tissues and skin dying before falling off.

Trench foot may affect different parts of the feet or the entire foot. It’s typical to see the heel, toes or full foot affected.

What can you to do help yourself if you’ve started to develop trench foot?

If trench foot has started to develop, it’s important to get your feet dry and to warm them up. Trench foot is not restricted to developing in freezing weather, just rain and cool temperatures could be enough. Any time you start to have these symptoms, it’s time to dry off your feet and to warm them. You can use warming packs or warm (not hot) water to heat your feet up for a few minutes before drying them and putting on clean, dry socks.

Once you do this, it’s important for you to seek out medical attention. This is a wound, and it may be best not to walk or move on your feet for several days or until healed. In severe cases, you may need antibiotics for infection or other treatments to help repair the damage.

Left untreated, this condition could lead to gangrene, tissue loss, an inability to walk or worse. Trench foot has to be taken seriously. Let your employer know that you have a foot injury or that this condition is developing, and go seek medical attention. Workers’ compensation may then cover your care as you work to recover.