Trench foot

Trench Foot. This results from exposure to wet and cold in the trenches, and soldiers who were compelled to have their feet immersed in water for any length of time and were then exposed to cold, are afflicted with this condition. The symptoms are similar to frost bite and the prevention of frigorism (Trench Foot) is as follows: adequate feeding; perfect circulation; moderate exercise; good general health; and warm clothing, which all tend to give the body its maximum power of resistance to cold.

It is obvious that anything that tends to impair the circulation and the nutrition of the tissues is favorable to the occurrence of frigorism. Tightness of the clothing of the extremities, such as tight boots, leggins, etc., is particularly detrimental. Heavy clothing and other equipment, by increasing fatigue, also has a predisposing influence.

With regard to the protection against cold water, it is necessary that the external covering should be impervious to and not affected by water. India rubber stockings, waders, and boots have been used by men working in water, not only as a protection against wet, but also against cold. The best results have been obtained by the use of a waterproof covering that can be worn inside the boot, not because it is the only, or even the best possible method, but because it appears to be the simplest and most practical. A waterproof top boot, so devised as to leave a fairly wide air space between the boot and the greater part of the foot, ankle, and lower part of the leg, would be more efficient and probably more convenient, provided the material used was soft and light, and did not interfere with movements. To obtain this result a new type of boot would be required.

The treatment of trench foot is similar to that of frost bite.