Ask The Experts

I have Buerger's disease. What do I soak my feet in for the sores on my toes?

Thank you for contacting IPFH. We do not diagnose or recommend treatments on line. It is important for you to get treated not just for the sores on your feet, but also for the inflammation from the disease. We strongly urge you to consult your primary care physician at your earliest opportunity. He or she can advise you on steps to take to treat the wounds. If you do not have a primary care physician or are not under a doctor's care, you should consult a physician as soon as possible, since your toes could be at risk of amputation. You might also consult a foot health professional about treating the sores on your toes, but it is urgent to treat the systemic condition so that you can prevent further damage from occurring.   

As you probably already know, Buerger's disease (also called "thromboangiitis obliterans") is associated with heavy tobacco use (not just cigarettes, but other tobacco products as well). It causes blood vessels in the arms and legs to become inflamed and swell, inhibiting blood flow and causing clots to form. This often leads to pain, tissue damage, and eventual gangrene (death of tissue). In some cases, it may be necessary to amputate affected areas in the hands and feet. Common symptoms include red, bluish or pale hands or feet; cold hands or feet; pain in the hands and feet which may be severe; pain in the legs, ankles, feet when walking (the pain often is in the arch); and painful sores or ulcers on the hands or feet. There is no known cure for the condition, but it can be treated and controlled. Your best bet for pursuing this is through a medical professional. We hope you will contact a physician as quickly as you can, and that you will get into a treatment plan that will help you get this condition under control.

You can learn more about Buerger's disease from the National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus:

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