What does a podiatrist do?
Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who have been trained to diagnose and treat abnormal conditions of the feet, ankle and lower limbs. They also prevent and correct deformity, keep people mobile and active, relieve pain and treat infections. They can give you and your family advice on how to look after your feet and what type of shoes to wear. As well as perform surgery to correct any ailment of the foot and ankle.
How can a podiatrist help?
You may want to see a podiatrist for advice and treatment if you have painful feet, thickened or discolored toenails, cracks or cuts in the skin, growths such as warts and verrucas, scaling or peeling on the soles, foot/ankle fractures, bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, sports injuries or any other foot-related problem.
Even if your feet are generally in good condition, you might consider having a podiatry evaluation. For example, you may want to have any hard skin on your feet removed or have your toenails clipped. A podiatrist can also advise you about footwear and check that you're looking after your feet properly. Podiatrists can also help with more complex foot problems, including preventing, diagnosing and treating injuries related to sports and exercise.
What happens at the consultation?
At your first consultation, the podiatrist will take a full medical history and carry out basic tests, such as checking the blood circulation and feeling in your feet. They may also look at the way you walk and move your lower leg joints. They'll discuss your concerns with you and then make a diagnosis and treatment plan. Any minor problems that are picked up can usually be treated on the spot, including the removal of hard skin, corns and calluses.