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