You've probably noticed that hair can grow on your body and face in places where you might least expect (or want) it. And while some hair has specific purposes for as to why it might exist (or, at least, it's somewhat useful), like eyebrows and eyelashes keeping dirt, dust, pollutants, and sweat from getting in your eyes, other body hair might not have as clear-cut a purpose. But that doesn't mean that it's totally and completely useless. There are some surprising things the hair on your toes can tell you about your health that you might not have ever realized it could. From chronic conditions to hormones and more, the look, and even presence of it at all, can give you some hints about what's going on within your body.
There are tons of ways that certain features on your body, like body hair or the arch of your feet, can give you clues about parts of your health. And not only can they give you an inkling about what's going on inside, but they can also help your doctor know if anything is up or if everything is as it should be. When it comes to toe hair and your health, some of the clues it might give are subtle, but potentially important things to know.
1. Your Circulation Isn't Super
Though most people have some fine hair on their toes, if your toes are naturally hairless or you're losing your toe hair relatively rapidly, it could be a sign that your circulation isn't all that great, Everyday Health reported. You typically should have some fine, soft hair unless you actively remove it. If your toes don't have any hair (or you're losing it), talk to your doctor because, in some cases, the poor circulation could actually mean that there's something else going on.
2. You're Dealing With Natural Hormone Changes
In an interview with Self, Dr. Sejal Shah, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, said that as you go through natural hormonal changes over the course of your life, the hair on your toes might get coarser or darker in color. So just because your toe hair was blond and relatively invisible when you were younger doesn't mean that it won't get dark and very noticeable as you age. It doesn't mean that there's something terribly wrong.
3. You Have PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome can cause unwanted facial and body hair to grow due to the levels of androgens in your body. Teenspeak noted that excess hair on your toes could be due to PCOS. If you're concerned about the hair on your toes as it's related to your PCOS, using common hair removal treatments or some medications might help.
4. There's Something Going On With Your Genes
How much hair that you have on your toes, as well as how it changes might also have to do with your genes, as Shah told Self in the aforementioned article. So if your parents or extended family members have a lot of hair on their toes or it gets a lot darker or thicker as they get older, your toe hair might do the same.
5. You Have Peripheral Vascular Disease
One of the causes of poor circulation is peripheral vascular disease. Cleveland Clinic noted that if you have diabetes, it might affect your feet through peripheral vascular disease, which, again, will likely result in bald toes.
6. You Have Great Circulation
Just like having no hair on your toes or experiencing hair loss can mean that your circulation isn't so great, having a lot of hair on your toes (and legs) might indicate that you actually have pretty good circulation. In a blog post she wrote for Lexington Podiatry's website, Dr. Nicole G. Freels wrote that though you may not love the hair on your toes, it can, in fact, mean that the circulation in your feet is good, which is a positive thing.
If you're worried about the hair on your toes (or lack thereof) or are embarrassed by it, talking to your doctor or seeing your esthetician to have it removed (or both) can make you feel better about things and make sure that everything is A-OK.