What is trench foot?

Jump To

Trench foot

Trench foot (immersion foot) is a cold injury that occurs gradually over several days of exposure to cold, but not freezing, temperatures. The name comes from World War I troops who developed symptoms after standing in cold, wet trenches.

Signs and symptoms of trench foot include:

  • Red skin that turns pale and swollen.
  • Numbness or burning pain.
  • Leg cramps.
  • No actual freezing of the skin.
  • A slow or absent pulse in the foot.
  • Development of blisters or ulcers after 2 to 7 days.

First aid for trench foot includes rewarming the affected areas, relieving pain, and preventing problems such as infection or dead skin (gangrene).

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.