What Could It Mean If Your Feet Often Turn Blue-Purple and the Skin Is Dry and Cracked and the Toes Swell Slightly?

Blue-purple feet and swelling toes may be caused by Raynaud’s disease or diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic and the American Diabetes Association. Both conditions cause circulation problems that result in the discoloration and swelling of the feet.

Raynaud’s disease is a condition that typically affects the fingers and toes as a result of blood vessel spasming that cuts off sufficient blood flow, explains Mayo Clinic. The condition is more extreme in cold weather, and often results in discolored feet and swollen toes. Emotional stress can also trigger a Raynaud’s attack. This condition is most common among women aged 15 to 40, and is typically not serious by itself, states Cedars-Sinai.

Diabetes is a severe medical condition where the body cannot properly produce insulin to control the amount of sugar in the blood, reports MedlinePlus. The body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin produced is not effective.

A common side effect of diabetes is the narrowing or hardening of blood vessels in the foot, which greatly reduces blood flow, according to the American Diabetes Association. Discoloration, swelling, and cracked skin in one or both feet is common. In severe cases, a person’s feet may need to be amputated to prevent infection.