Some of you may have observed that your feet turn purple or purple-ish when you have been sitting down for some time. While, as an individual event, it is nothing serious, it is, in some cases, possible that this is a sign of other underlying medical conditions.
Being in oblivion about your possible health condition is never good for anyone. That is why we are here to help. We have listed all the possible causes behind these strange occurrences, as well as the treatments for them.
So if your feet turn purple when sitting down, we will recommend you go through this article carefully and try to learn as much as you can.
Causes and treatments
Several probable causes could be causing this event. Below, we have explained the reasons and treatments in detail for your benefit only.
Injury of feet
Feet injury often causes your feet to turn purple. These injuries also cause pain, swelling, and in severe cases, fever or immobilization. Accidents, mishaps, straining, dropping something heavy on your feet are some ways how these injuries occur.
The treatment of foot injury is relatively simple. If the injury is not too severe, the swelling and purple purplish hue will likely go away in a matter of some days. Below, we have listed some simple and soothing treatments that work well.
Keep your feet in rest. After any injury, be that serious or not, your injured foot needs a lot of rest.
Keep the injured area wrapped in a bandage and keep it elevated in that stage. It is better to use a pillow for this purpose as they are soft. Be sure not to wrap the bandage too tightly as that will cause you more discomfort.
Apply an ice pack or something cold to the area for comfort.
Medicine available over the counter, such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Tylenol, will help you with pain relief.
Let us now look at a fairly serious condition that could be a probable cause behind your feet turning purple. Diabetes is a common condition that affects a lot of people around the world. If the sugar level in your blood is not controlled, it can cause an array of problems.
Diabetes often causes feet to turn purple when the blood circulation and healthy nerve functions are disrupted. Along with said discoloration, you may also experience cramping and swelling, soreness, numb feeling, cuts healing slower than average, etc.
Doctors say that there is no direct treatment of Diabetes. The most effective way to keep this prevalent and dangerous disease in check is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Exercise daily.
- Keep your blood sugar in control.
- If necessary, administer insulin.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food.
- Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol.
- Last but not least, follow professional medical advice.
Acrocyanosis is considered to be an uncommon condition that often causes your feet to turn purple and, in some cases, blue. It has two main types – primary and secondary. Secondary Acrocyanosis is more severe than the primary one.
Simply put, blood vessels that spasm brings on this relatively rare disease. This condition is often painless and tends to affect women more than men.
Along with purple feet and hands, symptoms also include sweating, swelling of the affected area, etc. Though it causes severe pain and discomfort, the condition itself is harmless.
This condition, unfortunately, has neither a cure nor an immediate treatment. Managing these symptoms is vital when it comes to treating this condition.
Medications prescribed include muscle relaxant, alpha-blocker, calcium channel blocker, etc. Along with these medications, patients must maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Raynaud’s disease is a less known condition that still affects a significant number of people. This disease attacks the smaller blood vessels in your body. Known for its ability to come and go unpredictably, it often lasts some minutes at a time.
It is caused when spasming of the blood vessels disrupts the regular flow of blood and thus causes your feet to turn purple.
Symptoms generally include numbness, pain, uneasy feeling, etc. Stress and anxiety are two of the known triggers of Raynaud’s disease.
Frequently, Raynaud’s itself is a symptom of some other disease such as Lupus or Arthritis.
Raynaud’s disease can be treated in several ways depending on its severity, patient’s age, and medical history.
For severe cases, surgeries are often the only way to relieve the patient of discomfort and suffering. Simple nerve surgeries are usually done on patients with Raynaud’s.
Chemical injections are also commonly administered in the affected area.
Some patients have also prescribed medications such as Calcium blockers, Alpha-1 blockers, and blood vessel relaxants.
Last but not least, do not forget to eat healthy food and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.
Cold has been proven to trigger Raynaud’s in several patients. So stay extra careful during winter and keep yourself warm.
Perhaps the most unfortunate among these is Lupus. It is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks the healthy tissues and organs in your body.
The cause of this strange disease is, unfortunately, unknown. Researchers have concluded that Lupus is the outcome of hereditary and environmental conditions, but the nature of these conditions remains unsolved.
Some symptoms of this less known disease include swelling and pain in various parts of your body, a severe case of fatigue, headache, rashes on your skin, hair loss, frequent fevers, joint pain, sunlight sensitivity, etc.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this very dangerous disease. Several treatment methods are in practice to keep the symptoms in check and give the patient relief. It has been observed that a treatment that is started early works better than a treatment that is started late.
Medication is the most common form of treatment right now. Which medicines you will be mainly prescribed depend on your specific symptoms. Some of the treatment that is prescribed most commonly includes NSAIDs, Immunosuppressant, Corticosteroid, chemotherapy, etc.
In addition to this, being extra careful about your specific triggers is also crucial. Those who are sensitive to sunlight should avoid it as much as possible. Those prone to cold should stay careful and try not to catch a cold.
Ischemic foot is a rather serious condition that needs medical attention and care. This condition is mostly caused by low or insufficient arterial blood circulation from the heart to the affected area.
Various reasons contribute to inadequate blood flow among arteries such as – injury in an artery, blood clot, cholesterol issue, etc.
During the later stages of this dangerous condition, soft tissue damage may start to occur, which is irreversible. Ischemic foot is said to be extremely painful by the patients who have to go through it.
This pain gets worse during night time when the patient is lying in bed, and gravity is not helping blood flow naturally to the affected feet region.
The treatment for ischemic foot generally consists of various forms of vascular therapy. Generally, painless, these therapies also have a short recovery time.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Peripheral artery disease, in general, affects people with Diabetes or blood pressure issues or both. Arteries becoming narrow or getting clogged by cholesterol is the lead cause of this condition.
Reduction in the flow of blood caused by the clogged arteries causes the feet to become purple or develop discoloration when someone is affected by this condition.
In most cases, PAD cannot be diagnosed in the early stages. The symptoms become more evident only during the later stages of the situation.
Some common symptoms include:
- Cramping in the feet that occur both when the patient is resting and when the patient is moving.
- Severe to moderate swelling.
- Numb and weak feeling in feet that often make it hard to walk.
- Purple or bluish discoloration of feet.
- An irregular look and feel in toenails.
- Wounds or cuts that heal slower than regular.
Several factors contribute to this disease that affects so many people. Obesity, diabetes, abnormal blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, unhealthy diet habits, hereditary reasons are, to name a few.
This disease requires a significant lifestyle change and commitment if the patient wants to get better. Treatment is often administered, keeping two things in mind – symptom management and reducing any risk of stroke.
Your doctor may try any of these depending on your health condition. Medications of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar are often prescribed.
If your feet turn purple when sitting down, you have read through all of the probable reasons as well as each of their treatments. Remember to eat healthy, exercise, and listen to your doctor no matter what condition you may or may not have.
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