With Phoenix area temps still near 100 degrees most days, you may not be worried about cold toes from exposure to the air. However, some people have a circulatory problem where stress or anxiety causes vessels in their extremities to spasm and constrict the flow of blood. Complications of Raynaud’s disease, as it is called, can be serious, so if you notice your toes turning white or blue for a time, and then getting red and tingly as the spasms relax, you will want to see us for treatment.
In mild cases, just making sure to keep your feet and hands warm at all times can ward off symptoms. That shouldn’t be too hard in Arizona! Relaxation and stress management techniques can help, too. However, in rare cases the phenomenon can become severe and chronic, and that’s when complications can set in.
One result could be permanent slowdown in your circulation. Your toes could develop smooth, shiny skin, and the nails might grow slowly, making them more susceptible to fungal infections. Over time, not receiving adequate nourishment and oxygen could cause them to become deformed.
If certain arteries are totally blocked, sores that won’t heal could develop in that area. Without treatment, tissue death (gangrene) can occur, requiring partial or total amputation of the affected toe.
You could also develop scleroderma as a result of Raynaud’s. Symptoms include thickened, puffy skin that itches and may have small red spots underneath. This condition can also affect other parts of your body and result in stiff joints, trouble swallowing, and gastro-intestinal symptoms.Who would have thought all these could result from a case of cold toes! It makes it important not to ignore this condition. If any of these symptoms sounds familiar, please call Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona and let our expert foot doctors check your feet. We can diagnose Raynaud’s if it is present, and put your mind at rest and provide basic tips for handling your cold feet if it is not. You can reach our Chandler, AZ office by calling (480) 963-9000 and our Gilbert office at (480) 981-1800 to set up your appointment, or schedule online.