More often than not our feet become neglected, but could neglecting your feet be more harmful to you then you may realise?
It has been found that your overall foot health may indicate a sign of disease within your body. While this is may not relate to all cases it can affect some individuals.
Here are the 10 signs that may indicate foot health concerns:
- Do you suffer from dry flaky skin? Do you always use moisturiser that just never seems to work? Then you may be suffering from a thyroid problem. For this to occur the thyroid gland does not produce the thyroid hormones properly which assists in controlling metabolic rate, blood pressure, tissue growth and the skeletal and nervous system. When a balance does not occur it can lead to severe dryness of the skin, in which we find cracks within the skin and brittle toe nails that does not resolve with the use of emollient.
- Bald toes? When you look down at your toes you may notice small hairs on your toes. When these hair are absent it could indicate a sign of poor circulation which occurs as a result of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). To assist in monitoring signs of PAD look out for signs of reduced hair growth, cool temperature which may indicate a change in skin colour and absent or reduce foot pulses.
- Non- healing ulcers are often a sign that diabetes may be present. When suffering from diabetes your blood glucose levels are often uncontrolled, causing damage to the nerves leading to numbness and tingling as well as a reduction in blood flow towards the feet. When you have a reduced blood supply it can result in a non healing wound or a prolonged period of time to heal.
- Painful big toe? Then you may be experiencing symptoms of gout! Gout is a type of arthritis that is known to affect the big toe joint. Quite often the types of foods that you eat such as red meats, fish and alcohol will make you more prone to developing gout. When you are experiencing symptoms of gout the uric acid levels within your body have risen causing you to experience extreme pain within the joint. Quite often the joint will feel swollen and reddened causing you to wake suddenly within the night. It is import that you speak to your doctor about medications that may assist reducing your symptoms and to avoid flare ups within the future.
- Small red lines underneath the toenail could indicate broken blood vessels, in which the capillaries are damaged. These signs may indicate an infection of the heart or pre-existing heart conditions in those with pacemakers and suppressed immune systems.
- Clubbing toenails have often been associated with lung cancer and heart disease. When this occurs there is an increase blood flow to the arteries within the toenails causing the tissue to swell resulting in a rounder and wider appearance of the nails.
- Pitted toenails are often a sign of psoriasis. Psoriasis can result in grooves and ridges within the nails as well as psoriasis of the skin. These who have already been diagnosed with psoriasis of the skin often know that there is a risk of developing psoriasis of the nails. For the treatment of psoriasis your dermatologist will often prescribe topical creams.
- Depressions within the nails may indicate anaemia or lupus. Spoon shaped nails are often seen in infants but grow out of it within a few years. Other reasons that may also indicate this type of nail appearance include an overproduction of iron and Raynaud’s disease.
- If you notice a dark vertical line underneath the toenail that starts at the base of the nail and then finishes at the top of the nail it may be a kind of skin cancer. Skin cancers of the nails and feet are often misdiagnosed for fungal nails and trauma. This means that early diagnosis is key to ensure adequate treatment so speak to your podiatrist and doctor should you be concerned about your nail appearance.
- High arches which appear suddenly may be a sign of nerve damage. Those who have arch muscles that begin to thin may indicate signs of Charcot- Marie Tooth (CMT). CMT can lead to changes within one’s gait, reduce balance, numbness, reduce muscle. It is important that should you experience any sudden changes to your feet and walking pattern that you contact your podiatrist straight away.
If you have been suffering from any of these conditions then come and see one of our friendly podiatrists for an assessment today and they will put a treatment plan together for you.
Call 03 8645 9800 today or