What your feet may be saying

If I wanted to win a woman’s heart, I wouldn’t let her see my feet.

They’re not good. Fungus of the nails, I think the podiatrist said, before recommending something that required me to sandpaper each toenail, apply some liquid and pay the chemist about $100.

I tried it for a while. Apart from tight hamstrings caused by trying to reach each toe, nothing much happened, so I stopped.

That was about 10 years ago and nothing has changed. That was until the other day, when a mate was diagnosed with a melanoma under his big toenail. He thought the toe was just bruised, which is exactly what I thought when I first noticed a toenail starting to go black.

“You should also check under your feet for melanoma,” he said, which is an unlikely contingency for somebody with crook knees and limited flexibility. But I get regular skin cancer checks, so I’m not too worried. Under a toenail, however, as mine currently exist? That’s a different issue, and it drove me to carry out some research.

I found a New Zealand website called dermnetnz and it tells me that only about one per cent of melanomas in white-skinned individuals are found under nails. It didn’t give me a percentage if I had dark skin, but I don’t, so I read on, and this thirst for knowledge led me to wonder what my feet might be telling me about my general health.

I found a website that told me of “five” health signals my feet are sending, but directly under that was one which had “six” health warnings. Then, on the next page, there was a site telling me of 10 things our feet are trying to tell us, so that’s where I went.

Turns out they might be warning me of thyroid issues, psoriasis, eczema, malnutrition, nervous system disorders, artery disease, diabetes, gout, lupus or bowel disease. Good thing my toes can’t talk. They’d be driving me crazy.

So now I’m looking at my feet differently. I’ve taken them for granted for 65 years, they’ve served me well and they deserve recognition.

I’m going to tidy up my nails, take them to my podiatrist, show them to my skin caner man, then show them to my GP.

And maybe, before I die, I’ll be able to wear thongs again.

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Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

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