If you are undergoing chemotherapy treatments, they may affect your feet in ways that you are not aware of. At Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, we want to help our Macomb County patients know what to look for to recognize a potential side effect and how to deal with it.
Hand-Foot Syndrome (Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia)
With certain chemotherapy drugs, a small amount of the drug may leak out of the tiny blood vessels called capillaries in the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands. This can cause the skin in those areas to become red, tender and tingly. The skin on your soles and palms may look like it is sunburned and can blister or develop a rash and start to peel. Heat and friction can exacerbate your symptoms. If you develop hand-foot syndrome, the foot doctor may recommend that you not run, jog, or take long walks to limit the amount of pressure on the soles of your feet. It is also suggested that you not immerse your feet in hot water—short, tepid showers are best.
Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy
In some cases, chemotherapy can cause nerve damage or neuropathy, which mainly affects the feet and hands. This can result in numbness and a decrease in the ability to perceive sensation in your feet. The danger then is that you may injure your foot and not realize it. Keeping feet covered in socks and shoes will help protect your feet from harm. It’s also essential if you are experiencing neuropathy that you inspect your feet frequently for cuts, rashes, bruises, growths, swelling, or other signs of a potential foot problem.
In patients with Raynaud’s Syndrome, exposure to cold can produce extreme reactions in the feet and hands. Skin may turn white, then blue, and you may feel prickly, tingling sensations and stinging pain in your feet. Wearing extra socks and taking precautions like pre-heating your car before going out can help decrease symptoms.
Your feet are intimately connected to the rest of your body and can have unexpected responses to illness and treatment. If you notice any unusual symptoms in your feet, contact our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 office. Our podiatrists, Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw or Dr. Adam Thompson will examine your feet and help determine the source and treatment for your foot condition.