There’s a lot you can learn about your overall well-being if you know what foot signs of health to look for—they can tell you about the condition of your circulatory system, for example. “A great way to test that blood flow is good is by using your feet,” says podiatrist and podiatric surgeon Dan Michaels, DPM. “Squeeze your [big] toe for a few seconds until it turns white.” Once it does, release it and count how long it takes it to pink back up. Your toes regaining blood flow in about three seconds is a sign of good circulation, according to Dr. Michaels.
But blood flow is only one of the many signs of health you can tell from your feet. In order to be able to read these signs correctly, though, it’s important to first understand what healthy feet look like. “Feet are very complex, with skin that’s different and thicker than the skin anywhere else on the body,” says Dr. Michaels. “Healthy feet and skin should appear well-hydrated and toenails should be pink-ish and flat,” says Dr. Michaels. Your toes should also be pain-free and without any presence of sores, as well as any other indicators of damaged skin, he adds.