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5 Things Your Feet Are Telling You About Your Health


Hair on toes is more obvious on men, but women also have fine hair on their toes. If you notice an absence of hair on your feet, it could signal peripheral arterial disease (PAD), according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

PAD is the restriction of blood in the arteries of the leg and may signal more widespread arterial disease, which can cause heart disease.

If you have a wound on your foot that won’t heal, it could signal a risk of diabetes. Approximately 15 percent of people with diabetes develop an ulcer, or open sore, on the bottom of their foot. Anywhere from 14 to 24 percent of those people will require an amputation due to infection according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. People who use insulin are more at risk than those who manage their diabetes with other medications and diet.

Cold feet may be an indication of PAD, also known as poor circulation according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. It can also be a symptom of thyroid dysfunction according to National Academy of Hypothyroidism. If you consistently have cold feet or cold hands, talk to your doctor about PAD and thyroid disease. In the meantime, keep your feet warm in thick wool socks and slippers.

If one or more of your toenails starts to thicken, change color or separate from the skin, you might have a fungal infection. People with autoimmune diseases who take immunosuppressant medications are more at risk of developing fungal infections according to an article in the Laboratory of Taxonomy. Other medications, such as corticosteroids, can also increase your risk of developing a fungal infection according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).