For those of us heading off to yet another wet music festival this weekend, it is wise to look out for the signs of dreaded trench foot, first associated with trench warfare in World War I
Trench foot is a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure of the feet to wet conditions, which unfortunately has become commonplace this summer at carnivals, fetes and festivals.
If you feel any of the following symptoms you will need to take action quickly…
- Tingling and/or itching sensation
- Burning sensation
- Loss of feeling
- Cold and blotchy skin
- Foot can appear cyanotic (grey)
- Prickly or heavy feeling
- Foot is dry, red as well as painful after warming
- While warming burning can be severe
- Splits in the skin
If left untreated, trench foot involves blisters and open sores which can lead to fungal infections and if not treated could result in gangrene, which can cause the need for amputation.
If trench foot is treated properly, complete recovery is normal, though it is marked by severe short-term pain when feeling returns. As with other water immersion related conditions, trench foot leaves sufferers more susceptible to it in the future.
Trench foot is easily prevented by drying your feet very carefully and thoroughly and making sure that you change into dry socks regularly.
Wearing wellies will keep your feet dry, but sweat will not evaporate – so you will still need to be careful about changing your socks regularly. If you can you should try to alternate your wellies with other footwear that will allow your feet to breathe – such as leather walking boots.
So, pack a couple of pairs of shoes, plenty of pairs of socks, towels and some talcum powder (in a waterproof bag), be prepared to pamper your feet and relax and enjoy the music.