9 Things Your Feet Reveal About Your Health

TIME

The nurse just took your temperature, checked your blood pressure, and even made you step on the scale (with that heavy sweater on, no less). And as she hands you the paper gown, she gives her final directive: “You can leave your socks on.”

When it comes to your health, that could be a big mistake. A change in your feet—whether on the skin, nails, or even how they feel—can be the first sign of a potentially serious problem that, if caught early, could save your life. “Our feet are the first parts to be affected by nerve issues because they’re the farthest from our hearts and spine,” explains Carolyn McAloon, DPM, a Bay Area podiatrist and president of the California Podiatric Medication Association. Even more reason to never ignore feet: They’re easily compromised when our bodies feel threatened, since we send blood to the internal organs and the brain…

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