"Smoker's feet": symptoms, causes, treatment

A person who smokes for many years, with time, under the influence of nicotine, blood vessels narrow, so the blood to the lower limbs comes slowly. Moreover, this substance causes clumping of erythrocytes, which leads to the appearance of blood clots in the blood vessels, which block the blood flow, the cells do not receive proper nutrition and die. Over time, the entire body begins to die, gangrene is formed, so the diseased limb is amputated. Such a disease in medicine is usually called an obliterating endarteritis, and in people it is called " feet of a smoker" or "tobacco gangrene".Thus, because of the great passion for smoking, a person becomes an invalid.



Endarteritis is considered to be a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the arteries and leads to a violation of the circulation, and in the future - to the closure of the lumen and gangrene of the lower limbs. So, the legs of the smoker do not receive the proper oxygen, carried by blood, the tissues are gradually affected, this entails necrosis of the body part. Most often, middle-aged men who smoke constantly suffer from this disease.

Causes of

Currently, the exact causes that lead to the development of the disease are unknown. It is generally accepted that is a disease of a smoker, the legs of which suffer most often, appears as a result of the production of antibodies in the body, which have a detrimental effect on the walls of the vessels. Over time, they begin to become inflamed, connective tissue appears that narrows the blood vessels in the vessels. Why these antibodies are produced in the body, doctors can not give an exact answer. According to other theories, the disease can occur with allergic reactions to nicotine, atherosclerosis, infections and clotting disorders. It is known reliably only that, first of all, this disease affects smokers.

feet smoker photo

Symptoms of

Obliterating endarteritis, or " feet of a smoker", the symptoms of are as follows:

  • The severity of the lower limbs during walking, their rapid fatigue.
  • Sensation of coldness in the extremities, their swelling and numbness.
  • Pale skin, deformation of the nails.
  • The formation of ulcers, necrosis and gangrene.
  • No pulse on the legs.
  • Appearance of seizures during motion and at rest.
  • Intermittent claudication, which is the main symptom of the ailment called " feet of a smoker", a photo of the which is attached.

Stages of the disease

Obliterating endarteritis develops gradually and cyclically. It is accepted to distinguish the following stages of the development of the disease:

  1. The initial stage is characterized by a slight narrowing of the lumen of blood vessels, the circulation is not disturbed. Symptoms of the disease do not manifest, so the diagnosis at this stage is very difficult to put.
  2. Ischemic stage is caused by worsening of blood circulation, intermittent claudication develops, the legs of the smoker quickly get tired and almost always cold. Diagnosis at this stage makes it possible to cure the ailment.
  3. The trophic stage is characterized by a disturbance in the intake of oxygen and nutrients in the tissue. On the lower extremities hair falls out, the nails are deformed, the skin turns blue, the pulse is poorly audible. This stage is a sign of the disease, which was launched.
  4. The ulcerative-necrotic stage is characterized by the appearance of convulsions, lack of pulse in the legs, constant pain, inability to move, muscle atrophy, a huge number of ulcers and tissue necrosis. At this stage, the disease " feet of the smoker" is difficult to cure, since it is practically impossible to stop the destructive processes.
  5. Gangrene occurs if one does not treat necrosis and ulcers. It can be dry and wet. In the first case, the feet and fingers turn black and die. In the second case, the of the smoker's feet( photo disease and description is not very pleasant) begin to swell, to release toxins that poison the entire body. In order to prevent the infection of blood and the death of a person, limbs are amputated.


chicken leg disease

Diagnosis is best done in the early stages of the disease. It must be done immediately, since the future fate of a person depends on timely treatment. To make the final diagnosis it is necessary to conduct such studies:

  1. Analyzes for the presence of fungal, infectious and viral diseases.
  2. Ultrasound is performed to assess the condition of the tissues of the extremities.
  3. Rheosography is necessary to assess the rate of movement of the blood.
  4. Thermography, which determines the presence of abnormalities in the tissues of the lower limbs.
  5. Capillaroscopy, by means of which the state of capillaries is examined, microcirculation of blood in the extremities.
  6. Angiography is performed to assess the conditions of blood vessels, blood flow, the magnitude of the inflammatory process.

Differential diagnosis of

Such a diagnosis is necessary to eliminate diseases that have similar symptoms, such as atherosclerosis. Both these ailments are almost the same, but atherosclerosis is common to people who are more than fifty years old, it develops symmetrically and affects large vessels, in contrast to endarteritis.

Treatment of

The disease of the "smoker of the foot" treatment of assumes immediate. But you can not cure this pathology completely, you can only slow its development. First of all, the patient needs to give up smoking and alcohol, eat right and move a lot. The doctor appoints patients medications, physiotherapy, you can also use folk methods of treatment. In the late stages of the disease, surgical intervention is necessary. Of the drugs prescribed anti-spasmodic and antihistamines, vitamins, drugs that dilute blood, anticoagulants. Baromassage, thermal procedures, electrophoresis, magnetotherapy are prescribed.

So, the disease " feet smoker" treatment suggests a comprehensive, if all this does not give results, resort to surgical intervention. To do this, the artery is shunted or removed and replaced by a prosthesis. In some cases, a thrombus is removed that blocks the artery lumen. In the most severe cases, feet are amputated. This is used when there is a threat to the life of the patient. Obliterating endarteritis is a very serious pathology, therefore self-medication is contraindicated here. The whole package of measures should be carried out under the strict supervision of a physician. Treatment must be carried out necessarily, otherwise there is a threat to the life of the patient.

foot smoker treatment

"Legs of a smoker": treatment with folk remedies

Folk methods of treatment are used only at the initial stages of the development of ailment in combination with medical and physiotherapy. To do this, use the collection of herbs, which strengthen and restore the walls of the arteries, clean them and relieve inflammation. For this purpose, chamomile flowers, yarrow, corn stigmas, birch buds and St. John's wort are well suited. These all herbs are taken in equal proportions, put in a container and poured with boiling water( half a liter), set aside for one hour. Tincture is taken half an hour before meals, twice a day. It helps to cleanse the vessels, increase their tone. They use the facility with courses with interruptions in one month. Good fruit harvest helps. To do this, take one orange and a lemon, grind them with a blender, add one spoon of honey and mix. The mixture is consumed in three spoons before meals. Store the folk remedy in the cold.

feet smoker symptoms


To prevent the disease from developing, it is necessary to give up smoking in the first place. It is also recommended to keep your feet warm, avoiding their hypothermia, monitor your diet, removing from the menu salty, fatty and spicy dishes. It is necessary to monitor your weight, as extra pounds give a load on your legs. For this, you can exercise, exercise( running, swimming), walk for a long time on foot. Legs should be protected from damage and injury, shoes should not cause discomfort. It is also very important to follow the rules of hygiene, daily taking care of your feet, to monitor the level of cholesterol in the blood. All these preventive measures will help reduce the risk of pathology. Those who have this disease already diagnosed, the above recommendations will help to maintain a good health for a long period of time.



The prognosis of the disease depends on how vigilant the patient will be, since timely treatment gives the chance to get rid of the illness finally. Complications always end with amputation of one or both legs with the subsequent use of prostheses. If there are necrotic patches on the limbs, black spots, then it is already impossible to prevent the disease process. Therefore, it is recommended not to start an illness, but to treat it in time to save your health and life. When a person has noticed the presence of pathology in a timely manner, the prognosis will be favorable, since in the early stages of an endarteritis are dispensed with without surgical intervention.

The smoker

Thus, obliterating endarteritis is pathology that is serious, posing a threat to the life and health of the patient. As the main factor of its development is smoking, it is necessary to abandon this habit. In the smoke of tobacco, there are more than four thousand substances that have a destructive effect on the cells that are on the walls of the vessels, so conditions are created for the development of such a pathology, which in people is called " feet of the smoker" .For example, carbon monoxide promotes the formation of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood, which displaces hemoglobin, as a result of which tissues do not receive sufficient oxygen and die. Nicotine is able to increase the viscosity of blood, forming blood clots in the vessels. All this contributes to the defeat of the lower limbs with an ailment, which can not be cured in the later stages.