Who doesn’t know the yellow fingers of a heavy smoker. This phenomenon is caused by nicotine. However, nicotine is not only responsible for this, but also for the smoker’s toe. There are different stages, which in turn are accompanied by other symptoms. Now we want to introduce you to the different stages with their symptoms.
First Signs of Vascular Calcification (Arteriosclerosis)
In the initial stage, a pain in the sole of the foot, calf, thigh or another part of the leg is particularly noticeable after a long walk. Over time, this pain increases and ultimately also occurs after short distances.
The second symptom is an unhealthy skin colour of the limbs. This is caused by an increasing narrowing of the blood vessels, which can ultimately be completely “blocked”. Arteriosclerosis is most clearly manifested in the first stage by sudden hair loss on the legs. A lack of fluid caused by diarrhoea or vomiting can also lead to confusing cramps in the leg.
The discoloration of the limbs can be clearly observed. In addition to the toenails, things such as the skin colour of the leg change into a pale and unhealthy skin tone. Depending on the severity of the disease, this can vary up to a deep black – no nice consequences, which one would like to accept.
The Second and Third Stages
The second stage is characterised by the fact that the above-mentioned pain in the leg now also occurs at rest. In addition, it is possible for you to start limping. In the third stage, the tissue in your leg begins to show initial damage. This can go on until it begins to die. You can recognize the unambiguous by the black coloring. Usually the death of your leg begins in the toes and then wanders higher and higher.
A side effect of the smoker’s toe is poor wound healing. Even small wounds do not heal properly and often ignite easily but strongly. Why do some people recognize these symptoms so late? Because many smokers are diagnosed with diabetic nerve damage, which disturbs the perception of pain and thus prevents early detection.
The worst case that can be expected is the complete amputation of your leg because the tissue has been irreversibly damaged.
Dear Caution, Instead of Indulgence
As soon as the first symptoms appear, contact your doctor as soon as possible to have you examined. Keep in mind that even non-smokers can fall ill with a smoking toe. If you have been diagnosed with a smoking toe, check immediately whether your health insurance company pays for the treatment. In many cases this is not the case.
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This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)