trench foot

Joanna Lumley - Trench Foot - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Joanna Lumley is a top model from the 60’s and a TV superstar for almost four decades. But this British actress suffered from trench foot after she was cast away in an island to test her survival skills. Trench foot is a painful medical condition caused by exposure of the feet to damp and unclean conditions for a long time. The feet becomes numb, swollen, experience color change, and it start to smell too. The medical term for this condition is called Non Freezing Cold Injury or Immersion Foot.

What is trench foot?

The term Trench foot originates back to 1812 with Napoleon’s Army. The infected feet became numb and start to smell making it susceptible to fungal infections. When not treated, it will result to gangrene, and can lead to foot amputation later on.

Consult a podiatrist if you notice anything unusual in your feet. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering with foot disorders.

Trench foot causes

The main cause of having trench foot is standing and exposing the feet to cold, and wet places for eleven or more hours. Trench foot was very rampant during World War 1 where soldiers didn’t have waterproof footwear.

How can I tell if I have trench foot?

  • Tingling/itching sensation
  • Loss of feeling
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Prickly or heavy feeling
  • While warming, burning can be severe
  • Blisters
  • Can involve heel, toes, and entire foot
  • Burning sensation
  • Pain
  • Cold and blotchy skin
  • Foot can appear gray
  • Foot is red, dry, and painful after warming
  • Fissures of the skin is common
  • Skin is dying and falling off

Treatment for trench foot

If you think you have trench foot, seek medical assistance immediately. Treatment involves the following steps:

  • Clean and dry the feet thoroughly
  • Gently warm the feet by soaking the feet in warm water for about 5 minutes
  • Remove footwear and wet socks
  • Keep the foot elevated and avoid walking to prevent tissue damage
  • Keep the feet warm and dry
  • Check for wounds, these can make you prone to infections. Check your feet daily to avoid infections. With early treatment, trench foot can be managed effectively and you can avoid amputation.

How to prevent trench foot?

These following steps may help to  prevent trench foot (check with your podiatrist first)

  • Elevate your feet or lie down to encourage blood circulation.
  • Change into dry socks almost every day.
  • Move your legs around or walk to get the blood flowing.
  • Wash and dry your feet daily.
  • Wear shoes that fit well.
  • Control excessive perspiration using aluminum chloride.
  • Clean and air dry your feet.
  • Wipe your shoes and allow them to dry.
  • Keep the rest of your body warm.
  • Maintain good foot hygiene.
  • Apply talcum powder to keep moisture away.
  • Alternate foot wear daily.

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with foot disorders. To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.