Hot water soaking feet is the health preserving concept of many people. Soaking feet [promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis] is the most common saying. Many people like soaking feet, including myself and my family.
Unfortunately, for patients with vascular diseases, foot soaking often brings about aggravation or deterioration of the disease or even disaster.
What the hell is going on?
Why is it comfortable to soak your feet?
Let’s first talk about the knowledge of lower limb blood vessels.
The blood in the artery starts from the heart and flows to the legs and feet. It is rich in nutrition and oxygen. Through capillaries, blood carries metabolites (garbage) through venous blood and flows back to the heart.
The distribution of blood vessels on the legs is like branched branches, spreading all over muscles and skin.
If the artery expands, the nutritious arterial blood flow increases. If the vein expands, the venous blood carrying garbage will stagnate.
When soaking feet, the increase of local temperature will lead to arterial dilation, especially skin blood vessels-the statement of promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis roughly comes from this.
In my vascular clinic, I often encounter patients with vascular diseases who suffer from foot soaking.
I don’t blame patients and their families, because patients with lower limb blood vessels often feel cold in their lower limbs and naturally think of soaking their feet in hot water.
Then why did the result backfire?
Foot Soaking-A Disaster for Thrombotic Patients
Hot water soaking feet is harmful but not beneficial to patients with varicose veins and venous thrombosis.
Is this a process in how?
When the feet are soaked in hot water, the arteries of the lower limbs expand, especially the skin is hyperemia, and more arterial blood enters the lower limbs.
However, the venous reflux capacity will not increase.
As a result, soaking feet with hot water will aggravate blood deposition for patients with venous diseases whose return is not smooth or blocked.
In addition, soaking feet with hot water can also cause capillary rupture and form bleeding spots on the skin.
Over time, pigmentation will form and the lower leg will turn black.
If patients with venous thrombosis are taking anticoagulants, the bleeding will be more serious.
Soaking Foot-Making Artery Occlusion Ischemia [Worse]
Although the manifestation of lower limb arterial occlusion is lower limb ischemia, it is a pity that hot water soaking feet cannot expand the occluded blood vessels.
Of course, the expansion of unobstructed arteries only increases the blood flow of normal tissues, while ischemic tissues may become more ischemic due to the phenomenon of “blood theft”. In addition, medical research has concluded that the increase of ambient temperature can increase the oxygen consumption of tissues and aggravate ischemia.
This is also the reason why the following treatment principles are adopted for patients with arterial occlusion:
- Instead of vasodilators, choose anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs. Although ischemic legs are cold, infrared hyperthermia with heating effect must be prohibited.
Soaking Foot-Making Patients with Diabetic Foot Face Amputation
Diabetic foot is divided into three categories: [neuropathy] [ischemia] and [mixed].
Some patients with neuropathy can show that their legs and feet feel extremely cold and are afraid of cold. Therefore, soaking their feet in hot water is easily a comfortable choice. The tragedy is that once neuropathy exists, the patient’s sensory feedback mechanism for pain and water temperature fails.
Therefore, patients often keep heating water, even if they have been severely scalded, they are unaware of it.
The problems faced by patients with ischemic diabetic foot are similar to those mentioned above.
Therefore, if suffering from lower limb arterial occlusion and diabetic foot, high temperature foot soaking can lead to amputation!
Knowing these reasons, it is suggested that everyone should make clear whether there are the above vascular diseases before soaking their feet. If not, you can enjoy it at ease.
If this article can be seen by the staff of the foot bath shop, it would be even better. Because not long ago, I met a mixed diabetic foot patient who accelerated foot necrosis after soaking his feet in the foot bath shop.
Responsible Editor: BruceLi