Winter in Florida is generally pretty mild, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t at risk of some winter-weather hazards when you’re working outside. One of the hazards you know about, particularly during rainy seasons, is the risk of developing trench foot.
This injury happens when your feet stay wet for too long, and it can occur in cold, warm or even hot environments. Here’s what you should know.
What is trench foot?
Trench foot is also known as immersion foot syndrome. It happens when your feet are wet too long. Usually, this develops when it’s wet and cold, such as in the overnights when temperatures are between 30 and 40 degrees.
Trench foot causes symptoms such as redness, dying skin tissue, blotchy skin, blisters and more. These symptoms are a sign that you need to get your feet dried off and seek prompt medical attention.
You may notice trench foot developing if you experience:
- Pain when your feet are exposed to heat
- Persistent itching
Usually, this illness only affects a smaller area of the foot, but in some cases, it may affect all of it. Left untreated, trench foot can lead to severe blisters, gangrene, ulcers, nerve damage, amputations and tissue loss.
Can trench foot be treated?
Fortunately, the diagnosis is simple. A physical exam is all that’s needed to determine if you are developing or have developed trench foot. Treatment is straightforward, including resting, elevating the affected area and taking pain medications to reduce swelling and to assist with pain. When caught early, this condition isn’t likely to lead to complications, but more serious cases could lead to amputations or other long-term damage.
In either case, you have every right to seek workers’ compensation when you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury like trench foot.