Ask The Experts

Should I be concerned that the bottom of my feet are oftentimes, not always, quite red when I wake up?

Redness is often, but not always, a danger sign when it comes to the feet.  Redness or red streaks can indicate the presence of infection, especially if accompanied by swelling and/or a sensation of warmth.  Redness with swelling can also be a sign of poor circulation.  Other conditions that might produce redness include neuropathy (nerve damage usually accompanied by burning, tingling or loss of sensation) and a phenomenon called Raynaud’s disease.  In Raynaud’s, the blood vessels (arteries) in the fingers and toes contract briefly and suddenly, and little or no blood flows to them.  As a result, the skin will turn white and then blue for a brief period.  Then, as blood flow resumes, the affected area often will turn red and may also tingle, burn, or develop numbness.  These episodes are often related to changes in temperature.  If you haven’t noticed this progression of “white, blue, red” then Raynaud’s is most likely not the cause of your condition. 

Unless you have experienced pain, swelling, burning, tingling or loss of strength or muscle control along with the redness, there is probably nothing to worry about; BUT, since redness is often associated with serious conditions, as a precautionary measure you should consult your doctor or a foot health professional sooner rather than later.

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