Smokers have a particularly strong risk of PAD. Other risk factors include lack of exercise and diabetes. If you smoke, are inactive, and have diabetes your risk for
developing PAD is amplified many times.
What is Skin Necrosis?
The term necrosis refers to death of body tissue.
In the case of occlusive PAD, skin necrosis can occur from the lack of blood flow.
Gangrene will occur if a substantial amount of tissue necrosis is present.
How long does it take to develop gangrene?
It can happen very quickly once the blood flow is completely cut off.
For the type of gangrene caused by smoking, it can
happen in a matter of days or weeks.
Gangrene can be extremely painful.
Smoking is the main risk factor for PAD and contributes to about 75% of all cases.
Experts estimate that the risk of peripheral vascular disease may be as much as 16 times higher in smokers than in non-smokers.
If you have already been diagnosed with PAD, the risk of heart attack or stroke is estimated to be about 4 - 5 times greater than if you were a smoker without peripheral vascular disease.
If the condition is not ameliorated and tissue ischemia persists, skin necrosis can result. Since necrosis is not a reversible condition
sometimes the only option is amputation.
Quitting Smoking Facts about PAD
quitting smoking slows down the progression of the disease.
the longer the time period since your last cigarette the less chance you have of developing PAD.
If you continue to smoke after diagnosis with PAD you have an 11 fold increase in the risk of losing a limb
compared to non-smokers or smoker who quit.1
Some estimates suggest that 80-90% of peripheral artery disease cases will subside with proper treatment that must include:
cessation of smoking
improvement in the physical activity level.
treatment of underlying co-morbid conditions such as diabetes
Smoking Facts from the Experts
"Cigarette smoking is one of the most important risk factors for the development and progression of PAD and the cessation of smoking in addition to reducing the risk of
myocardial infarction and death, also reduces the risk of progression to critical limb ischemia and limb loss."1
"Cigarette smoking is the most powerful risk factor predisposing to atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease."2
More Smoking Facts about PAD and Diabetes
Diabetes is also a risk factor for developing peripheral artery disease.
The purpose of the information provided here is to help you cooperate with your doctor and other
health practitioners. It is not intended to take the place of medical advice and you are encouraged to
discuss health concerns with your physician or a professional health care provider who is
familiar with you and your unique personal health context.
--end GA code?>
-----end ST code?>
-----end Infolinks code?>
Return to top