HEALTH issues can be spotted by your nail artist, including a dangerous one that needs treatment fast.
The feet and nails can be affected by a number of conditions, but it may go unnoticed until an expert is up close and personal.
While nail bars offer a purely cosmetic procedure, a podiatrist can give you a proper health check and advice about your feet.
Nail artist Vanessa Sanchez McCullough told Huffington Post: “A well-educated pedicurist can spot potential health issues, because both fingernails and toenails can be windows to a person’s health.”
Podiatrist and surgeon Dr Brad Schaeffer said sometimes, concerns about a foot problem can lead to a serious diagnosis.
He said: “We look at the skin, pulses and nerves to determine any underlying conditions.
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“Diabetes is probably the most common diagnosis that we can assess during a foot exam.
“Other times, melanoma can be found in the feet.”
Having diabetes means that you’re more at risk of serious feet problems.
People with the condition are warned to keep a close eye on their feet, because even a minor wound can become serious very fast.
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Amputations are 20 times more likely in those with diabetes.
Foot problems are more likely to occur in people who have had diabetes for a long time, and it has damaged the nerves in their feet.
But there are some one million people in the UK who have diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed.
And Dr Schaeffer suggests that some people get a diagnosis from an initial foot exam.
Some of the ways diabetes shows in the feet include:
- shiny, smooth skin on your feet
- hair loss on your legs and feet
- swollen feet
- wounds or sores that don’t heal
You may also notice:
- loss of feeling in your feet or legs
- your feet don't sweat
- cramp in your calves when resting or walking
Meanwhile, melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer – may also be flagged by a beautician.
The first sign of melanoma is usually a change in the size, shape, colour, or texture of an existing mole, or a new mole with certain features.
Foot melanoma usually appears on the sole or under a toenail but can appear anywhere on the foot or ankle.
Under the toenail, cancerous cells can look like bruising. They can also appear in a streak that grows vertically.
Manicurist Erin Beckett-Gland also said it was clear to foot care specialists when someone was wearing shoes that were too small for them.
Their toes may curl into a claw like position, or their toenails may be split.
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“I can tell when they over pronate, roll their feet inward too much or need an arch support because they have the signs of a bunion and the big toe deviating,” Erin said.
And bunions are common from women who wear high heels too frequently.
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