Quitting Smoking is Good for Your Feet

While the primary dangers of smoking are well known few people think of the danger that smoking presents to your feet.


Smoking causes changes in the way your blood's hemoglobin carries oxygen through your body. Chemicals in cigarettes have been shown to reduce the levels of oxygen the blood is capable of carrying. It also causes the tiny blood vessels to constrict, and vessels carry blood to your extremities, such as your feet. Not only that, but smoking can thicken the blood making matters worse. The total effect of all of these blood problems is a decrease in healthy oxygen rich blood getting to your feet. Without it your feet are not only slower to heal, but more prone to injury as well.


Studies have shown that quitting smoking just 6 weeks before surgery can improve surgical healing. Smokers are one and a half times more likely to suffer overuse injuries, such as plantar fasciitis or tendonitis, versus non-smokers.


Yet another reason to quit, calluses and cracks can develop on your foot due to smoking. Smoking breaks down elastin, a protein in the skin which gives skin it's stretchy qualities, thus leading to calluses and cracks.


If you or a loved one is having foot problems and struggling with quitting smoking, it would be a good idea to discuss it with your podiatrist. Your podiatrist can provide information about programs and point you in the best direction for quitting smoking for good.

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