Ask any pedicurist how many beat-up feet she’s seen and, chances are, she lost count. Worn and blistered tootsies are the norm, especially in flip-flop weather! But sores on the feet or toes that are slow to heal, or appear to change skin color, can be quite a different story. Peripheral arterial disease—a.k.a. PAD— could be at play in those cases. It occurs when arteries in the arms, legs or feet get clogged with fatty deposits. The lack of blood flow not only slows wound healing on the surface, but it can also bring on muscle pain in your legs when you walk. What’s more, having blocked arteries in your legs makes them more likely elsewhere in the body—including the heart—which makes PAD a red flag for heart disease.

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