What do our toenails and toes tell us?

Toenails can tell us a lot about what is happening in your body.

For instance, because your feet are so far from the heart, they can be the first part of the body to indicate a problem with circulation. Your toenails can indicate iron deficiency anaemia by developing raised ridges, becoming thin and curving upward.

Yellowing and crumbling toenails could be a fungal infection. A podiatrist can diagnose and treat this condition, but, be prepared, as treatment can take a long time ….. as long as it takes the nail to grow out.

Our feet withstand enormous burdens – not just our weighty issues, but also the issues of high heels and a shoe size too small squishing our toes uncomfortably. Corns and callouses, bunions and misshapen toes, blisters and ingrown toenails can result. Be sure to visit your podiatrist for help with any of these annoying and sometimes painful conditions. And while you are at it – get a proper fitting for shoes. Your podiatrist may also suggest orthotics.

If you are a diabetic, you can have an entire new range of problems caused by peripheral neuropathy, where the excess sugar in your blood has caused damage to the nerves in your extremities…. particularly your feet. You really need to see a podiatrist regularly for any issue involving your feet. Do not attempt to treat corns, callouses, ingrown toenails, etc yourself! You can cause more damage than good because you can’t feel what is happening. In an extreme case, a diabetic trod on a nail which went through his shoe and into his foot. He was completely unaware of this until he removed his blood-soaked shoe that evening and walked up the stairs leaving a trail of blood.

These are just a few examples of where a podiatrist can intervene and restore health. If you want to know more, or need to make an appointment, contact your qualified podiatrists at 13th Beach Health Services. Phone 03 5254 2668.

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