Once again, we have started a 'reality' TV show that poses great risks to our future...Socially, of course, but also physically! This show pays its contestants for their time on film, but there is no large back of cash available at the end of this rainbow. The goal is to survive in dangerous environments with no clothes or supplies. At the beginning you start out with a partner in this game, but many times one of the two contestants is forced to bow out - usually from illness and sometimes due to a lack of desire to proceed once the realization of how real the dangers are really sets in.
So, how does this have to do with feet? Why am I writing about this? The reason is that from watching this show a couple times (literally... I've seen it twice, maybe three times) I have seen some pretty serious foot abuse. No clothes means no shoes...no socks. Often times there are extreme conditions and so here is the list of things that can happen to these poor feet.
· Burns: Both sunburn and burns from contact with hot ground are very likely. There is no sunscreen and most of our delicate feet don't have the calluses to protect our skin from the heat of the terrain.
· Lacerations/Puncture wounds: This can be from stepping on sharp rocks, thorns, bones of dead animals.
· Blisters: Suddenly increasing your barefoot mileage can really be hard on your skin. Before your skin can toughen up with calluses, it's easy to develop blisters on the feet.
· Infection: From blisters that open up to lacerations and puncture wounds, it's hard to avoid infection when you don't have your handy dandy tube of antibiotic ointment, fresh clean water, soap or betadine. If the wound occured in water (say while fishing with the spear you just fashioned out of a stick), there is a possibility of some really nasty bacteria getting into the skin. Even on dry skin, infection can occur when the healthy bacteria normally present on you skin grows to higher than normal levels within an open wound. Depending on how long these wounds fester, infection can reach deep into the bone require surgery and even amputation.
· Broken bones: [No support of shoes on uneven terrain] + [Fatigue from malnutrition and lack of sleep] = A bad time.
One slight misstep can mean a broken or sprained ankle or foot.
· So, for all you future Naked & Afraid contestants - think long and hard before you sign off on that consent!