4 Reasons to Quit Smoking for Your Feet
November 16th is the Great American Smokeout and we at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM want to take this opportunity to encourage out patients who are smokers to quit. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of premature death and disease in the world. Currently about 36 and a half million Americans smoke cigarettes. Many others smoke tobacco in the form of cigars, pipes or hookahs.
While most people are aware of the fact that smoking increases your risk of cancer and heart disease, they do not realize that smoking has negative effects on specific parts of your body, including your feet. Chemicals in cigarettes cause your blood vessels to constrict and this can cause harm to your feet in a few different ways.
Below are 4 reasons you (or someone you love) should consider quitting:
1. Injuries and infections in your feet will heal more quickly. Your blood carries oxygen and other nutrients to every part of your body that help with healing. Unfortunately for your feet, they are the part of the body that is the farthest away from your heart and therefore blood has the furthest distance to travel to get to them. Stopping smoking will allow blood to circulate more freely thereby reducing the time needed to heal from foot fractures, wounds or injuries.
2. Quitting smoking will reduce medical threats from other diseases. If you have diabetes, peripheral artery disease or any other condition that impedes the circulatory or immune systems, giving up cigarettes means lowering the risk of complications from these conditions.
3. Foot surgery recovery time will be reduced. If our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, has determined that surgery is necessary for a bunion, Achilles tendon repair or to fix another chronic foot condition, quitting smoking before the surgery could speed your recovery and shorten the healing process. In some cases, doctors will not perform surgeries unless a patients stops smoking for a period of time prior to the operation.
4. Your feet will feel warmer. Lack of good circulation can leave feet and toes feeling cold. In addition, certain conditions, such as gout and Raynaud’s Disease are made worse by cooler temperatures.
Quitting cigarette smoking is just one way to be proactive in the health of your feet. To learn more, contact our Somers Point office by calling: (609) 927-4894.