Trench Foot PSA By: lindsey winslow

This is what trench foot looks like, yes it is very gross and I don't think you want to get it. Some trench foot cases are better and some are worse but I will tell you how to not get it at all.


Trench Foot is caused by exposure to damp, cold conditions and poor environmental hygiene. It reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients to the feet which can result in tissue and nerve damage. Any wet environment, be it from excessive sweating to wearing damp socks and shoes can cause Trench Foot.

This is what some of the trenches looked like back in WWI. You cannot see their feet, the water goes all the way up past their ankles. This is what causes trench foot.


Trench Foot can affect the heels, toes or entire foot. The most common foot is cold, swollen, and white/grey that can feel numb, heavy, painful and prickly. In extreme cases, blisters and ulcers develop, skin starts to peel off and tissues begin to die.

This is another case of trench foot.


1) Thoroughly clean and dry the feet: use an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal dressing and air the feet regularly.

2) Gently re-warm the feet to improve circulation: warm the feet for approximately five minutes at a time either by soaking in warm (not hot) water or using heat packs. Make sure you test the temperature first to avoid the risk of burning especially while the sensation is reduced.

3) A Potassium Permanganate foot bath: can help draw fluid out of the affected area.

4) Amputation: in severe cases where gangrene has set in, amputation is required.

Here is a doctor treating soldiers with trench foot during WWI.


1) Wear clean, dry socks: change socks daily or more frequently if in damp conditions.

2) Don’t wear socks in bed: allow the feet to “air”.

3) Keep feet clean: wash and dry feet daily.

4) Apply talcum powder or Vaseline: to the feet to keep moisture away.

5) Ensure shoes fit well: avoid shoes that are too loose or too tight.

6) Ensure footwear is dry: it may help to alternate shoes/boots daily to ensure they dry out fully.

This is an ad telling people to keep their feet nice so they don't get trench foot.


1) JRR Tolkien, author of Lord of The Rings, contracted Immersion Foot during WW1.

2) Actor Jeremy Irvine got Trench Foot whilst filming War Horse.

3) Actress Joanna Lumley suffered from the disease when cast away on a desert island filming the TV documentary Girl Friday.

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