Woman smoking

How Smoking Affects the Feet

If this year’s resolution is to quit smoking, you may find these facts about smoking and feet helpful to keep you on track!

Smoking doesn’t just damage heart and lungs, it also seriously damages the feet. Listed below are some of the side-effects of long-term smoking.

  • Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) can be caused by smoking.
  • Thread Veins and Varicose Veins often appear
  • The blood supply does not get to the feet effectively – Ischaemia
  • Pain/cramp when walking due to arteries and veins not working properly, often in calves – Intermittent Claudication
  • Feet feel cold – increases risk of chilblains
  • Even minor foot injuries take longer to heal, increasing the risk of infection and ulcers
  • Collagen in the skin breaks down causing ageing and thinning – this results in thin, papery skin which bleeds easily when scratched or knocked
  •  Breakdown of fatty pads. This can make walking uncomfortable, particularly the balls of the feet
  • Smoking increases the risk of developing Diabetes which also affects the feet
  • It increases the risk of developing skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and skin cancer
  • Healing slows down, so the risks of infection including ulcers, fungal infections, etc. are higher

So if you are struggling to quit, maybe, bearing these facts in mind will keep you motivated. Or why not give your feet a treat such as a Reflexology treatment, go for a walk or take up dancing to keep you on track?