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El Chupanibre
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We were on at the end of July. One guy came down with a nasty eye infection (Eyegore), I lost 2 toenails because of collisions with rocks but no foot infections.


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I've heard of it. I bring a small, galvanized metal bucket. In the evening I put clean water in it, warm it on the fire, and soak my hands. While I tend to any cuts or scrapes on my hands I soak my feet and then tend to them. Antibiotic ointment, way more band aids and tape then you think, lots of clean socks, and a little time to take care of your self goes a long way!
 

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Not recent but on a September 2012 trip the river flashed big time. brought in trash from every where. one guy on the trip some how got a small scrape on his leg. His wife is a RN and treated him with proper first aid. After a few days the infection set in to the point he had to be helicoptered out by the NPS. It was a very close thing but his leg was saved. Took a very long time for him to fully recover.

Bottom line when the water in the Grand Canyon is muddy from flash floods, take extra care.
 

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The cure without a doubt is topical Erythromycin. Wash your feet as Randaddy suggests and then apply at bedtime. The application will burn, just to let you know it is working. Apply the Erythromycin again when you wake. The Tolio will be gone in a couple of days. Tried and true by guides for years!
 

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I've gotten the foot rot three times, It's painful for sure. Last trip I wore shoes and socks at camp washed my feet and fared pretty well. Will do the same this April plus some from tips on this thread.
 

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My trip in fall 2007 one guy ended up with a serious infection that started in his feet. Poor guy got sunburned really bad on his feet in Marble Canyon. I guess there's something to be said for putting on the sunscreen before deciding to make it a ten beer morning...

Anyhow he got this weird heat rash, which he said was typical. He had to keep his feet in the water or they itched like mad. It was a big group and like most trips there's some folks you just don't talk to or pay much attention too... Sure I noticed that he would haul a bucket up and sit in his chair with his feet in it it every night, in November, but he didn't complain once that I heard. Tough son of a gun. He made it out without evac but I guess he was bed ridden and on serious antibiotics for a long time. Wish I had more details for you but I never heard from him again.
 

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Since the infection comes from the water (more often when it is silt laden), the soaking of the feet is probably a bad idea!
 

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We had a number of people on our July trip that got Tulio. We did not know what it was and bag balm was used heavily.
I did not have any problems, and it seemed my feet were always in the water. Only foot problems were when a little sum-bich fire ant bit me between the toes and the only remedy was to put feet in the water, drink beer and wait 4-6 hours.
 

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Since the infection comes from the water (more often when it is silt laden), the soaking of the feet is probably a bad idea!
I use drinking water or treat river water with bleach. I bring an extra jug of water on my boat for this purpose so nobody can yell at me. :)
 

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Cold Urticaria is an interesting thing, but it is not Grand Canyon "Tolio". Tolio is an infection:

What about Tolio?
According to Dr. Tom Myers, "Tolio" is a condition that impacts river runners causing skin lesions typical of chilblains, also termed pernio or immersion foot. Dr. Myers notes cold and wetness cause this painful condition.
According to Myers, biopsies have shown Tolio is not a primary bacterial, fungal, or viral disease, although there can be secondary bacterial infections. The condition is not contagious person to person. The textbooks describe chilblains as itchy, burning, painful blisters of violet color taking up to three weeks to clear.
Interestingly, Myers notes some people are obviously more susceptible than others and repeat cases are common. Dr. Myers and Dr. Walt Taylor did a study of Tolio, and these doctors feel that the cold water temperatures and relatively long time frame of Grand Canyon river trips make the condition more common than on other rivers. The roles that sun, sand, minor dings, prolonged sitting and water quality factors all play a role in this condition.
What can one do to avoid or minimize this problem? Myers notes first and foremost, take good care of your feet! Try to avoid sunburn especially on the first trip each season.
Use a potent waterproof sunscreen frequently before getting red or sore. One could wear kayak boots or river socks or the like.
Wiggle your toes and move your feet a lot so they are not just stationary in the water on the floor of your boat.
Keep your feet clean and the skin well hydrated by using Super Salve, Bag Balm, Lubriderm, Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion or some similar goop in camp daily.
Do not soak your feet in the river. It may numb the pain, but it makes the condition worse.
Anti-inflammatory agents may help the pain.
Steroids may help the symptoms, but of course, have numerous problem side effects when taken orally.
Antibiotics help only if there’s a secondary bacterial infection.
Our Thanks to Dr. Tom Myers for letting us use this information!

Thanks to RRFW web page where I copied this from. Hope you don't mind Tom Martin!
 

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I did a little research on this a couple of years ago after a friend had a bad case of Tolio. There's a lot of speculation and possible misinformation on the internet (who knew?). This link seemed to have the best-researched information: BQR - winter 1999-2000 - "Tolio" Revisited
Have they followed up in the intervening 15-ish years? It seems like people are experiencing several different issues in the Grand. If its this "folio" then its not a bacterial infection and should benefit from cortisone creams, etc. But it seems like some folks are benefiting from topical antibiotic that hints at an altogether different issue, unless the Grand just seems conducive to the secondary infections the pdf author mentioned.

I always thought what I experienced, which was worse than home but mild in my book, was athlete's foot. The pocking, redness and other symptoms happen on most rivers in the desert when my feet are consistently wet. It never lasted more than a week and has never been all of that painful for me. But I can't imagine having constant pain in my feet in the Grand, ouch.

Phillip
 
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