Wondering if it’s time to see a podiatrist? You’re not alone – 77% of U.S. adults have experienced foot pain or problems in their lifetime. Yet only about one-third of them seek care from a podiatrist.
At Podiatry Associates, we encourage you to address foot issues before they become emergencies. Proper foot care prevents ongoing pain, limits damage from injury and disease, and preserves your foot health for a lifetime.
Here are some common signs it’s time to consult a podiatrist.
Do You Need a Podiatrist?
You Have Ingrown Toenails
Some people have persistently ingrown toenails, and some just experience occasional pain from a sharp toenail edge. Either way, a podiatrist can help.
One thing is for sure: Don’t attempt to cut or file ingrown toenails yourself. Infection can hide below the surface of an ingrown toenail, and you could quickly cause more damage than you had before.
There are many possibilities for ingrown toenails, from simple in-office procedures to more extensive surgical options. Your podiatrist can also help you understand the underlying cause of your ingrown toenails, so you can prevent them in the future.
You Have Bunions, Corns, or Calluses
Any kind of bump or irregularity in the foot can be cause for concern. Many people first visit a podiatrist because they are concerned about bunions, corns, or calluses.
A bunion is a painful bump or bulging on the big toe’s joint. Most bunions are caused by inherited conditions, walking habits, and poorly-fitting shoes. Bunions often run in families. Talk to your podiatrist about the latest in bunion care.
Corns and calluses are dead skin cells that build up on the foot. They most commonly occur due to friction from footwear but are also associated with diabetes and other health conditions. Avoid home remedies, like herbal soaks, which may make corns and calluses worse.
Your Feet are Dry and Cracked
It’s normal to have dry feet from time to time, but when you have flaking skin or long, dry cracks in the feet, that’s a much more serious problem. Treating your feet with moisturizing body lotions? Not so fast. They can actually make dryness worse in the long run, depending on the ingredients and perfumes they contain.
A podiatrist helps you get to the root cause behind your dry or cracked feet. This allows you to treat them properly and prevent the issue from worsening over time.
You’ve Been Diagnosed with Diabetes
A diabetes diagnosis should inspire you to call a podiatrist right away. People with diabetes are much more prone to foot problems.
Pay close attention to changes in your feet and share them with your podiatrist. Common foot conditions that are associated with diabetes include numbness, tingling, open sores, foot and leg pain, bleeding, swelling, peeling, cracking, and changes in skin color.
Your Child Has Foot Pain
Perhaps your child has a foot condition from birth, or they have developed a nagging problem over time. Don’t wait to get them examined, because foot problems can lead to other problems as children’s bodies grow: leg pain, back pain, and posture problems, just to name a few.
Although not all podiatrists accept children, they are welcome at Podiatry Associates and we invite you to reach out to us for a youth appointment.
You Have a Sports Injury
Whether you are injured during a sporting event, or just while throwing around a football in the yard on Superbowl Sunday? Foot injuries from sports tend to be high-impact and should be examined by a professional as quickly as possible.
Pay close attention to sports-related injuries that include bleeding, limping, swelling, discoloration, and a feeling of tearing or popping. Help your podiatrist understand how the injury happened and how it has affected your daily activities since.
You Have Persistent Pain
Pain can be disabling and discouraging. It’s your body’s way of alerting you to a problem, so don’t ignore it.
Also, don’t be embarrassed if you can’t pinpoint the exact location of your pain. Don’t worry if you can’t remember an event that triggered it.
Unspecified pain can sometimes be an indication of serious health issues like peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, and vascular disease. Or it can just mean you need some new shoes, new habits, or a bit of TLC.