Signs and symptoms of poor circulation in the feet include changes in skin color and texture; loss of hair or changes in the distribution of hair on the foot; the presence of rashes, foot sores or swelling; and a weak pulse. Claudication, which is dull cramping pain that occurs in the calf after walking; foot numbness; the presence of a venous pattern or enlargement; and temperature changes are also signs and symptoms of circulation problems. A sign of a medical condition is what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled or measured not only by the patient, but also by other people. Symptoms, on the other hand, are things that only the patient can experience in his or her body and are not seen, heard, felt, smelled or measured by others, not even healthcare providers.
Poor circulation in the feet can lead to foot discoloration, causing the skin to appear pale, reddish or bluish, and the texture of a foot could appear shiny, as though it has been polished. The skin might look abnormally thin when examined, particularly if there are venous patterns or enlargement. Peripheral vascular disease can quickly lead to dangerously poor circulation, so when the feet are examined by a medical doctor, a visual inspection of the veins is performed. Veins carry blood away from the foot back to the heart.
Foot sores or ulcers that do not heal properly or at all often appear, particularly when the circulation is very poor. Rashes that appear on a foot can cover just a small section or a wide area. Another interesting symptom is the onset of pain when at rest, but not when standing or walking. If this is experienced, it should be reported to the examining medical professional, who should also ask a patient about the times when any foot cramps or pain occurs.
A decrease in temperature that leads to cold feet is one of the earliest signs of poor circulation in feet. There are a couple of things, however, one must keep in mind when considering temperature changes. Sometimes, there is a difference in temperature between the two feet, which almost always serves as a sign and symptom of inadequate circulation. Weak pulses are another sure sign of poor circulation, but they are hardly ever checked by laypeople. Pulses that can be checked to verify good circulation in the feet are the posterior tibial pulse, which is palpated behind the inside ankle, and the dorsalis pedis pulse, which is lateral to the large tendon of the big toe.