Redfoot is a common ailment among elderly in Therian towns and settlements. Originally thought to be a sign of a good work ethic, the affliction has more to do with the prolonged exposure over many years of wearing ill-fitted footwear. Redfoot is so called because of the reddish coloration of the flesh when it has begun to rub raw.
The affliction itself does not actually make the foot red (although superstition and misunderstanding has made wearing red colored footwear a taboo), it actually has more to do with the tanning materials that are used by less expensive, and typically inexperienced, cobblers. Because beggars rarely can afford leather shoes and the more affluent wear lined shoes, they rarely suffer from Redfoot, reinforcing its place as a symbol for hard work.
Stage 1: Redfoot begins to show up when a Therian reaches their late 40’s, but it is initially just a nuisance. It causes mild pain that can be relieved by elevating the feet for 8-12 hours. Sadly, the afflicted rarely have such liberty. It remains at stage one for 3-5 years, but has been known to progress faster in warmer climates. This is the stage where we see soft tissue damage on the top of the foot and around the ankle, if the footwear has ankle ties. If the feet are able to dry out COMPLETELY for 24-48 hours, Redfoot will become asymptomatic for 4-6 months. Stage 1 is also referred as Pinkfoot.
Stage 2: Full onset of Redfoot occurs when the flesh of the foot has lost the ability to build calluses. Once stage 2 has been reached, it is no longer treatable except by alchemically (untested) or magical (expensive) means. Stage 2 typically is reached on one foot at a time. The intense pain associated with it leads most folks to using walking aids (crutch, cane, staff, etc) or to leave the workforce completely for a sedentary life. The overcompensation by the less afflicted foot quickly catches up to stage 2, often in a matter of weeks. Stage 2 Redfoot is chronic, although it may later progress to Stage 3.
Stage 3: The final stage of Redfoot takes one of two paths. If the person has refrained from walking/ wearing leather shoes for long enough (2-3 years), the visual symptoms of Redfoot will abide. That said, the same ingredients that started the affliction will have settled into the joints of the foot and ankle, reducing strength and mobility permanently. In most cases though, the afflicted are rarely able to see these changes as old age, poor nutrition, and other health concerns have taken their life.