How To Prevent Nasty Trench Foot?

You’re on the trail, having a good time taking in the amazing sights and sounds of nature. You’re fuelled by adrenaline as you press on. There’s an ache in your feet which you attribute to a long day’s hike. But soon that ache swells into a tingling pain accompanied by an itchy sensation. You decide it’s time to rest, and when you take off your shoes, you see this:


immersion-trench-foot

 

Trench foot happens when your feet are exposed to wet conditions for a prolonged period of time. If your hike takes you through swamps, puddles, rivers and wet jungles, you’re susceptible to trench foot. Even the sweat from your feet can contribute to the likelihood of getting this nasty condition.  


Citing the CDC, symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Blisters
  • Numbness
  • skin falling off your feet
  • Redness
  • Dryness
 

If left untreated, these symptoms may spread to the toes, heel or even the entire foot. The good news is trench foot is preventable. Here are some tips:

  1. If your feet sweat more easily than most, consider using an antiperspirant spray on them.
  2. Plan stops on your trail to air your feet and dry your socks.
  3. Pack an extra pair of socks if you’re unable to wait for the pair you’re wearing to dry.
  4. Massage your feet twice a day to encourage healthy blood circulation.
  5. Wear a pair of hiking boots that are proven to be highly water resistant. Go for high or mid-top style waterproof hiking boots to prevent water splashes from getting into your boot.
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