What is Trench Foot?

During WWI, the French foot murdered an estimated 2,000 Americans and 75,000 British soldiers, according to reliable sources.

Since the catastrophic outbreak of trench foot during WWI, people have been more aware of the importance of keeping their feet dry.

Trench foot can still occur today if your feet get exposed to cold and wet circumstances for an extended time.

Read to find out more about trench foot!

What is a Trench Foot?

A deadly ailment arises when the feet get submerged in water for a lengthy period.

This ailment got recognized during World War I. It was when soldiers contracted trench foot as a result of battling in the cold. trenches in damp circumstances with no extra socks or boots to keep their feet dry

Trench foot differs from frostbite, another type of foot tissue injury in that the skin does not freeze. A non-freezing cold wound is what it’s called (NFCI).

People with the disease now do not suffer from the same magnitude of tissue loss as troops. It is a preventable disease that has long-term consequences and is not communicable.

Symptoms of Trench Foot

Although it is not a common condition, the symptoms of trench foot are easily identifiable. Below are common symptoms of trench foot!

  • blisters
  • blotchy skin
  • redness
  • skin tissue that dies and falls off

There are also some additional apparent changes to your feet. However, they have been defined as trench foot symptoms. 

  • coldness
  • heaviness
  • numbness
  • pain when exposed to heat
  • persistent itching
  • prickliness
  • Tingling

Only a section of the feet may be affected by the symptoms of trench foot. In the most severe cases, they can spread throughout your entire foot, including your toes.

Stages of Trench Foot

People may notice that their foot turns from white to red as it warms up, finally becoming dry and uncomfortable. The changes are called stages of trench footing!

Blisters can occur, causing the skin and tissue of the afflicted foot to fall off. Trench foot can progress to gangrene and ultimately necessitate amputation if left untreated.

There are four stages of trench foot:

Stage 1-Injury Stage

The tissue is cold and numb, and the blood flow is restricted. There is no discomfort, and the limb may be red or white.

Stage 2-Immediate Post-injury

The limb can become blue and remain cold and numb after it has warmed up. A modest degree of edema is possible.

Stage 3-Hyperaemic Phase

It could last anywhere between two and three months. During this time, the limb gets hot and red, and the skin becomes dry. Pain and pins and needles are usual! Blisters may form in critical situations.

Stage 4-Post-hyperaemic Stage

It could endure the remainder of the individual’s life. They may be more sensitive to the cold, have pins and needles, and be in discomfort. There may also be some ulceration present.

What Happens If Trench Foot Is Not Treated?

Trench foot exists when our wet feet do not dry completely. It’s also most common at temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Trench foot, on the other hand, can arise in desert settings. The significant factor is how wet your feet become, not how cold they are (unlike frostbite). 

Compared to other sports, such as swimming with water shoes, standing in wet socks and shoes for an extended amount of time makes it worse.

If your feet get exposed to cold and dampness for an extended period, they might lose circulation and nerve function. They also lack the oxygen and nutrients that your blood regularly supplies.

Other symptoms, such as pain, can become less noticeable when nerve function is lost.

Trench foot, if left untreated, can lead to issues over time. These are some of them:

  • Amputations
  • You may have severe blisters
  • A person can encounter the inability to walk on affected feet
  • Tissue loss
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Ulcers

Diagnosing Of Trench Foot

In the diagnosis of trench foot, a physical exam will exist conducted by your doctor. In the diagnosis of trench foot, they will examine any injuries. Moreover, tissue damage to see how much circulation has got lost. They may also check nerve function by pressing on your foot to see whether you can feel pressure points.

Treatment of Trench Foot

The treatment of trench foot has developed as medical practitioners have gained a better understanding of the condition. Trench foot got treated with bed rest during WWI. Soldiers were also given foot baths with lead and opium. In the treatment of trench foot, massages and plant-based oils got used when their conditions improved. Amputation got sometimes required if the symptoms of trench foot were severe. It was to prevent circulation issues from spreading to other parts of the body.

However, now the treatment of trench foot is relatively simple!

To improve circulation, you should first relax and elevate the affected foot. It will also help to avoid the formation of new blisters and sores. Ibuprofen (Advil) is a pain reliever that can aid with swelling and pain. Moreover, if you can’t take ibuprofen, you will be prescribed aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve pain. However, these medications won’t assist with the swelling.

Home remedies might get used to treating the early symptoms of trench foot. Here’s how you should proceed:

  • remove your socks
  • Wearing filthy socks to bed is not a good idea.
  • Clean the afflicted area as soon as possible.
  • completely dry your feet
  • Heat packs should get applied to the afflicted area for up to five minutes

If your trench foot symptoms don’t improve after trying home remedies, it’s essential to contact your doctor to avoid complications.

Bottom line

Trench foot can be treated without creating more issues if found early.

If you notice the symptoms of trench foot, visit a doctor and look for the treatment of trench foot. Moreover, keep your feet clean and dry. Avoid keeping them damp for extended periods.

The article makes sure to give you enough information regarding trench foot. We recommend checking out the health benefits of a foot massage.

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