Here’s What Your Feet Say About Your Health

By molly atherton 7 months ago
Step right in and take a closer look at your feet. From the arches that arch an eyebrow to the toes that wiggle clues about your overall wellness, let's unravel the fascinating tale your feet are itching to tell.

1. Toe Nails With Slightly Sunken Indentations

Sunken toenails with indentations may be a sign of chronic iron deficiency or aenemia. If you find that you have concave toenails, it could be due to high altitudeWeird Things That Can Happen To Your Toenails And Feet | Women's Healthimagesource/womenshealthtrauma or exposure to petroleum products. May sure to always check with your doctor if you notice any differences in your body. Original content sourced from

2. Hairless Feet Or Toes

This could be a sign of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). “Signs of PAD can include decreased hair growth on the feet and ankles, purplish toes, and thin or shiny skin,”I have odd, fat, hairless feet. : r/mildlyinterestingimagesource/redditsays Suzanne Fuchs, DPM, a podiatric surgeon in private practice at Luxe Podiatry in Palm Beach, FL. Around 6.5 million American over 40 are affected by PAD.

3. Frequent Foot Cramping

If you're exercising enough and drinking enough water, you might want to up your intake of potassium, magnesium and calcium, supplements...Foot cramps: Causes and what to doimagesource/medicalnewstodaylike these can really help! “For relief, soak feet in a warm foot bath and stretch your toes toward your nose, not pointing down,” says Dr. McAloon.

4. Sores That Won't Heal

“Many, many people with diabetes are diagnosed first because of foot problems,” says Reid. When blood doesn't get to a wound, the skin doesn't heal properly Foot Ulcers Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Optionsimagesource/drugs.comand that's how diabetic blisters and ulcers start. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms then just go and see your doctor as soon as you can.

5. Constant Cold Feet

What it could mean: Hypothyroidism. If you're over 40, you could have a sluggish thyroid without knowing it, so if you're constantly strugglingCold feet: Causes and remediesimagesource/medicalnewstodayto warm your feet up, then this could be the issues. Hyperthyroidism can also cause hair loss, fatigue, unexplained weight gain and depression too.

6. Thick, Yellow, Downright Toenails

Signs of a fungal infection are thick, yellow, downright toenails. People with autoimmune diseases are more at risk of developing fungal infectionsWhy are My Toenails Discolored, Yellowed, Thicker? - Dr. Mikkel Jarmanimagesource/preferredfootandankleclinicif they're taking immunosuppressant medications. Other medications can also increase the risk of developing fungal infections too.

7. Numbness In Both Feet

Peripheral neuropathy or a pinched nerve could be the reason why you're experiencing numbness in your little trotters. If you're experiencing neuroma...Foot Numbness in Feet Toes Legs | Treatment for Numbness Top of Footimagesource/certifiedfootandankleclinicor numbness in only one foot, you could just have a pinched nerve. likely caused by years of wearing tight shoes (which definitely aren't good for your feet!).

8. Stiff, Sore Toe Joints

According to John Hopkins Medicine, signs of Rheumatoid arthritis typically start in the small joins or the hands and feet. If you have persistent achinessArthritis in Toes - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatmentimagesource/creakyjointsor swelling, talk to your doctor about seeing a rheumatologist. It's always better to consult your doctor when you notice any changes in your body, however small.

9. Dry, Flaky Feet

“Thyroid problems cause severe dryness of the skin,” says Marlene Reid, DPM, a foot specialist at Family Podiatry Center in Naperville, Illinois.Scaling Skin Causes, Treatment and Preventionimagesource/verywellhealth“When we see cracking on the feet, or if moisturizer doesn’t improve dryness over a few days, we usually refer patients to their primary doctor to make sure their thyroids are okay.”

10. An Painful, Enlarged Toe Nail

Foods high in protein ca trigger a rise in uric acid in your body, which in turn, results in Gout. “You’ll see the deposition of the uric acid in the joint, most commonly...How To Treat Infected Ingrown Toenailimagesource/rapidcareemergencyroomthe big toe or the ankle,” says Bob Baravarian, DPM, a podiatric foot and ankle specialist. If it's not gout, there are many other possible causes of toe pain.

11. Red Lines Under Your Toenail - Usually Small Ones

Small red lines under the toe nail could be broken blood vessels known as splinter hemorrhages but it can also be a sign of endocarditis which is...Should You Be Worried About a Red Line on Your Nail? – Cleveland Clinicimagesource/clevelandclinican infection of the heart's inner lining. So if you notice this little splinters and you haven't experienced any trauma to the nail, then keep an eye on it.

12. Clubbing Of The Nail

The symptom of clubbing is often associated with lung cancer, chronic ling infection or heart conditions caused by birth defects or infection of the lining of the heart valves.Nail clubbing - Wikipediaimagesource/wikipediaClubbing occurs when there's a lower amount of oxygen in the blood which causes rounder, wider fingers and toes, in a very noticeable way (you definitely won't miss it...).

13. Pits In Your Toenails

If you find little grooves or ridges in your toenails, you may have nail psoriasis (an autoimmune disease that makes skin patchy and irritated).What is Longitudinal Ridging?imagesource/newsmedical5% of the population with nail psoriasis do not feel the affects elsewhere on their body. Other symptoms include white patches and horizontal lines across the nails.

14. Bunions. Bunions. BUNIONS

This could just be an inherited faulty foot structure and are merely aggravated by inappropriate shoes. “The first foot bone drives toward the middle of the bodyWhat Can I Do About My Bunions?: Peninsula Orthopedic Associates: Orthopedistsimagesource/peninsulaorthopedic, and you see the bump,” explains Dr. McAloon. The only way to correct this issue is surgery! But the best way to prevent is to try and wear proper-fitting shoes.

15. Yellow Toe Nails Can Be A Sign Of Fungus Or Pedicure Overloads

“Yellowness can also happen naturally with age,” says Dr. McAloon. If you're finding brittleness or flaking, you probably have a fungal infectionWhy are my toenails yellow: Causes and treatmentimagesource/medicalnewstodaylike athlete's foot - which is very easy to get rid of. Go down to your local pharmacy for some medication or or check out some home remedies.

16. The Inability To Lift The Front Part Of Your Foot

The paralysis or weakness of the muscles that lift the food cause the inability to lift the front part of your foot. This could be a sign of a number of underlying...Causes of Chronic Foot Pain: Dan Preece, DPM & Darren Groberg, DPM: Board Certified Podiatrist Foot & Ankle Surgeonimagesource/danpreecedisorders like neurodegenerative disorders, MS, stroke, cerebral palsy, polio and ALS as well as other muscle or nerve disorders.

17. Your Toes Are Red or Blue

Now we've all heard of Raynaud's disease which is a disorder of the blood vessels supplying the kin and certain parts of the body like the toes and fingersWhy are my toes red? Causes, other symptoms, and treatmentsimagesource/medicalnewstodaybecome number and turn blue when exposed to cold temperatures. This can happen even when your under stress, so make sure to cover up when you're outdoors.

18. The Dreaded Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are a common complaint and occur when nails have an excessive curve, have been cut badly or through injury and compression.Ingrown Toenail Shouldn't Be Neglected! – Mersin Sistemimagesource/mersinsistemUntreated toenails may require surgery to correct the condition if they end up infected or bleeding. Ingrown toenails can also ruin any chance of wearing nice open toed shoes.

19. Numbness & Tingling

"One of the first symptoms of MS is often a numbness or tingling sensation, sometimes in your feet," says Julie Fiol, RN, director of MS informationTingling in Feet: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatmentimagesource/healthand resources at the National MS Society. Numbness and tingling can be a sign of MS and Fiol explains that one foot may have a different sensation that the other.

20. Restless Feet At Night

"Restless feet and legs at night is often a signal that you have an iron deficiency," says Arielle Levitan, MD, a physician of internal medicine and...RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME AND PARKINSON'S: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT - Davis Phinney Foundationimagesource/davisfinneyfoundationco-founder of Vous Vitamin LLC. Try taking a daily vitamin and schedule an appointment with your physician if the problem carries on.

21. Spider Veins & Varicose Veins In Your Ankle

"Clusters of tiny blue and red blood vessels in the inner ankle may indicate an underlying problem [that's] not visible to the naked eye,"What Causes Spider Veins? - HeartVein NYC - NY Cardiovascular Doctorsimagesource/heartveinnycsays Nisha Bunke, a vein specialist at La Jolla Vein Care in San Diego, California. If left untreated, venous reflux can lead to blood clots and hemorrhaging.

22. Darkening Of The Skin Around Your Ankle

Darkening around the skin around your ankle can be a sign of a chronic venous insufficiency. "This [symptom] usually occurs in the inner ankle and can worsen Ankle Discoloration: Causes and Treatment Options: Clement Banda, MD: Dermatologistimagesource/veinspecialiststo involve the lower portion of the leg," Bunke says. "Over time, the skin becomes firm, dry, eczema-like, and itchy and can even break open, causing a venous leg ulcer."

23. Cracked Heels

One symptom of cracked heels is linked to the health of your thyroid. "Skin that is cracked over the heels is a classic sign of an underactive thyroid,"7 Things Your Feet Say About Your Health | Absolute Foot and Ankle Clinicimagesource/absolutefootandankleclinicPlatt says.  However, other symptoms can include weight gain, depression, muscle aches and fatigue. Sp make sure not to ignore any cracked heels, though!

24. Green Toenails

If you're noticing that your toenails are going green, it may be due to chloronychia - this is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa which presents itself...Green Under Fingernail or Toenail: *SECRETS shared by a Foot Doctor!*imagesource/michiganfootdoctorwhen the foot is exposed to water or certain soaps and detergents. It can be treated very easily with medical soaking or keeping the nails dry.

25. Swollen Ankles Can Be A Sign of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure has the heart working over time. Fluid builds up in the lower legs and ankles causing them to become swollen.MS and Swollen Feet: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatmentimagesource/verywellhealthYou should go to see your doctor and get it checked out if you're unsure of what's going on. It's always better to be safe than sorry!

26. Never Ignore Brown Streaks In Your Toenail

A black or brown toenail could be a sign of subungual melanoma which is a form of skin cancer. If you've not had any injuries to your feet,Melanonychia: What Is It, Causes, and Moreimagesource/healthlinethen get your feet checked out. If the streak increases in size or doesn't heal, make am appointment with a dermatologist as soon as you can to be sure.

27. Burning In Your Feet

Another symptom of neuropathy, PAD, peripheral neuropathy is to have burning feet and this can be due to diabetes or other factors.Do You Have a Burning Pain in Your Foot? You May Have Peripheral Neuropathy: Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle: Foot and Ankle Specialistsimagesource/podiatryhealthlineBurning feet can also be due to nerve damage in the legs from athlete's foot, however, it's often caused by PAD, so go and get checked if you're noticing these symptoms.

28. Feet That Are Really Painful To Walk On

Discomfort in your feet when you walk can be caused from malnutrition, including a vitamin D deficiency, a problem with absorbing calcium or anorexia.Plantar fasciitis - NHSimagesource/NHSWomen over the age of 55 with these pains, may need a bone density exam so just go and check in with your doctor to see what they say!

29. Black Or Dark Toenails

Black or dark toenails are usually a sign of injury, if you've hurt your foot and bruised under the toe nail, it can cause the change in colour.Do I need to worry about my black toenail? - Torbay Footcareimagesource/torbayfootcareHowever, bruises under the toenail can cause a fungal infection or a sore that can become infected. If you do have diabetes though, you should get your discoloured nails check out.

30. Heel Pain Can Be A Sign Of Plantar Fasciitis

If you get a sharp pain in the bottom of your heel when you get out of bed or stand up from your seat, it could be a strain from the ligament that supports your arch.Heel pain: Causes, prevention, and treatmentsimagesource/medicalnewstodayPodiatrists will tell you to easy up on your workouts and to rethink your footwear. Make sure to stretch each day & it should ease up, but it's always best to consult your doctor.

31. Pale Toenails

"They can also be caused by malfunctions in the liver or heart, or poor nutrition, so it is important to get this issue checked out," Podiatrist, Dina Gohil says.Causes Of White Spots On Your Toenails – My FootDrimagesource/mrfootdr"If your nails are mostly white with a narrow pink band at the tip, it could be a condition called Terry’s nails. This can be due to ageing but it could also indicate diabetes..."

32. White Spots In Your Nails

"They can be down to injury or micro trauma to the nail such as hitting it against a hard surface or bending but not breaking the nail," she says.Got White Spots On Your Nails? This Is What It Isimagesource/scarymom

 "This is not a cause for alarm in healthy individuals. Simply wait for the spot to grow out and then clip it off." In rare cases if nails go entirely white, it can be a sign of Leukonychia.

33. If Your Toe Nails Have Gone Black

Black nails are usually a sign of trauma. 'The bleeding underneath means that the nail appears black,' the podiatrist explains. 'This will normally grow out...Do I need to worry about my black toenail? - Torbay Footcareimagesource/torbayfootcareon its own, but if it does not then it may be a sign of a more serious issue." As with these things, it's always best to keep an eye on it and avoiding nail polish can help!

34. Small Cysts That Grow Near Your Cuticle

If you've found a small cyst growing near or on the cuticles this may be an indication of arthritis. These cysts can be benign (not cencerous)Myxoid cysts: Home remedies, images, causes, treatment, and moreimagesource/medicalnewstodaybut it's always best to address any health care professionals if you find any changes on your body. No matter how big or small.

35. Scaly Red Patches That Impact Your Fingers Or Toes

Having scaly, red patches around your nails can sometime point to Psoriasis. Consult your doctor or dermatologist - other symptoms of psoriasis...Psoriasis in the fingernails and toenailsimagesource/are indentations, beau's lines, skin thickening, white areas, black lines and redness. Any changes in skin as well as the nail itself should be checked out by a doctor.

36. Smelly Feet

Everyone get smelly feet from time to time, it's normal when you think that your feet have over a quarter of a million sweat glands. But...How To Get Rid Of Your Smelly Foot Odorimagesource/refinery29when your feet constantly smell or that you can put them in a pair of shoes and they smell will linger it can mean that you have a fungal infection.

37. Cramping In Your Feet

Cramping tends to be relatively harmless so theres usually no need to worry. “If your calves or balls of your feet are cramping, you might have...Foot Cramps: Causes and Ways to Get Rid of Cramps in Foot and Toe - YouTubeimagesource/youtubea nutritional deficiency, like a lack of sodium, potassium or magnesium,” Podiatrist, Bodell says. It's interesting how nutrition can affect appearance of feet, too.

38. Swollen Or Sore Feet

Swollen or sore feet can be the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis so if you aren't pregnant, been in hot weather or sat on a long flight, keep an eye out on them.Swollen feet: 15 causes, treatments, and home remediesimagesource/medicalnewstodaySwelling can occur due to “a build up of fluid in your tissues due to a lack of movement, circulatory problems or kidney and liver issues”.

39. Crumbly Nails

Toenails that are discoloured and crumbly can often be a sign of fungal infection but if the infection is at the nail bed it could mean that your toe...Causes of Brittle Nails - Diamond Skincareimagesource/diamondskincarehas experienced some trauma to the area. Treatment can be found at that pharmacy with an oral or topical anti-fungal, and see if that helps.

40. Spoon Shaped Nails

In this case, the nail resembles the shape of a spoon and becomes concave. Spoon shaped nails are usually a sign that you've got an iron deficiency/anaemia.Nails in systemic disease | RCP Journalsimagesource/RCPjournalsIf you notice you toenails changing shape or colour, always keep an eye on them and visit the doctors if the change is very sudden without any explanation.

41. Here's What Your Feet Say About Your Personality

Everyone has different shaped feet, but there are numerous types of shaped feet and they all have special meanings behind them. Carry on reading...Types of Feet: Can Foot Shape Determine Your Ancestry or Personality?imagesource/healthlineto find out what the shape of your foot actually says about your personality! Ever wondered why your big toe looks like that? Why your little toe is actually the biggest?

42. The Egyptian Toes

One of the most general foot shapes is the Egyptian Toe, A.K.A. ''The Stretched Foot'' and is a fairly common foot type which is characterisedYour personality explained, based on the shape of your foot ...imagesource/timesofindiaby the big toe being the largest, and the rest of the toes tapering off at a 45 degree angle. Do you have this foot shape? If so, this one speaks to you!

43. The Roman Toes

If your first three toes are the same height and the last two are in descending order then you have what is known as the Roman Foot!Personality Test Your Foot shape reveals these personality traitsimagesource/jarganjoshPeople with this foot shape are usually outgoing and positive as well as being passionate especially when it comes to exploring.

44. Peasant Toes

Peasant Toes, sometimes known as ''Square Feet'' are when the toes are all practically the same length which gives a "square-like" appearance.These 7 Shapes of Foot Reveal Individual's True Personality | Pay Attention - HopyTapyimagesource/hopytapyThe people with this shape foot tend to be rational and reliable. They're great people to have around you! So if this is you, then even better - you're that kind of person!

45. Flame Toes

The Flame, or Greek foot is when the second toe exceeds the length of the big toe, and all the other toes. Those with flame toes tend to be natural born leadersFlame Toenails- 1.) Begin with clear basecoat 2.)Use solid color to paint complete nail base(let dry) 3.)Use silver spark… | Toe nails, Party nails, Painted toesimagesource/pintrestwho rarely get stressed out and glide their way through difficult situations. You could say they easily glide because of their uniquely shaped feet!

46. Inability To Separate The Little Toe

Solely about whether or not you can separate your little toe without the help from your hands/tools. It means that you are a loyal companionHow to move your pinky toe independently and its benefits - Capoeira | Dende Artsimagesource/capoeirawho loves having a routine to follow & if you can't separate your littlest toe without the help of a handy tool it's really nothing to worry about.

47. Ability To Separate The Little Toe

As you might have already guessed, those that have the ability to separate their smallest toes have completely opposite personalities to those who can't!19 Toe Stretches and Exercises to Tryimagesource/healthlineThey're more free spirited and laid back with more of a care free attitude towards life, which is definitely the way you want to be to avoid stress.

48. An Extra Small Toe

Similarly to the Egyptian Toe, the only difference here is that the pinky toe is smaller than usual. People with this shaped foot tend to be quite secretiveWhat the heck can I do with my tiny pinky toe nails when I can't get polish on them? : r/RedditLaqueristasimagesource/redditwhen it comes to their personal lives, they keep their cards close to their chest and take a while to really open up. But when they do, you have a friend for life!

49. Wide Set Toes

Known as the ''travellers foot'', these feet have evident gaps between the toes or can be easily stretched far apart. People with wide-set toes are...

Wide Feet: Causes, Concerns, Measuring, Footwear, and More

imagesource/healthlinemore often than not, obsessed with travelling and yearn to throw themselves into an unforgettable adventure! Why not, when you have feet ready to take you?

50. Stretched Toes

Not to be confused with the Egyptian Toe, stretched toes are when the big toe is clearly distanced from all the other toes. Very independent and...Stretch of the Week: Toe Spread Stretch - Athleticoimagesource/athleticopysicallove doing things for themselves, people with this foot shape also hate being indoors & told what to do. Those feet were made for walking - outside, of course!