Preparing your feet for the festival season

Usually festival-goers come back from Glastonbury with a t-shirt, lots of photos and a bad hangover to remind them of the event. But according to an article in The Guardian (September 1st), last year dozens of revelers were left with a more painful souvenir of the rain-sodden event - trench foot.

Music fans were left with numb toes, rashes and blistered skin having spent days in the wet and rain after a storm hit the festival on the second day. Trench foot was suffered by World War 1 soldiers and is caused by the feet being immersed in dirty water for long periods. In the trenches men stood for hours on end in waterlogged trenches without being able to remove wet socks or boots. The feet would gradually go numb and the skin would turn red or blue. If untreated, trench foot could turn gangrenous and result in amputation.

One festival goer told: 'I only had sandals on and I was literally walking through water filled with poo and rubbish. I now have a hideous rash all over my foot'. But victims need not worry as they can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics.

The Glasto outbreak has prompted discussion about ideal footwear. It's advised that a good remedy is to change socks (preferably packed in a plastic bag to make sure they stay dry) several times a day and bring spare shoes and also dry feet well with a clean towel. Avoid synthetic shoe materials like rubber or vinyl, unless they are on the sole of the shoe. Wear leather or cloth that can allow your feet to breath. If you end up with a painful, obviously swollen foot that develops blisters, it would be advisable to contact a chiropodist.

(taken from

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