An ankle and foot doctor, called a podiatrist, is an important healthcare practitioner, and it’s crucial that you build an ongoing relationship with one if you want to keep your feet healthy: Almost 20% of the Canadian population has more than one foot problem every single year. But how do you know when it’s time to book an appointment with your local podiatrist? Here are some common reasons:
- If You Have Corns or Callouses
Hardened skin on the feet can be both painful and unattractive, but it’s remarkably easy for podiatrists to attend to. You’ll probably be in and out with your problem taken care of in a single appointment.
- If You Have an Ingrown Toenail
You may be able to care for the early stages of an ingrown toenail at home, by soaking your feet in hot water and trying to lift the area of the nail that’s growing into the skin. But as soon as you see redness or any sort of pus, it’s time to get professional medical treatment.
- If You See Significant Discoloration
Discoloration in the feet can indicate numerous problems, including blood flow problems or gout (a type of arthritis). Some redness when you first get out of the shower or finish a run is no big deal, of course, but any persistent discoloration should be assessed by a doctor.
- If Your Feet are Numb or Tingling
Constant or intermittent numbness or a tingling sensation are worth a doctor’s visit, since these can indicate either blood flow or nerve issues.
- If You’re Seeing Regular Swelling
Swelling in itself normally occurs when the body is trying to repair damage. If that swelling doesn’t go down, that’s a sign your body needs medical assistance solving that problem.
- If You’re Diagnosed with Diabetes
Because of how diabetes affects multiple systems in the body, you’re both more likely to have foot problems and less likely to feel them if you have diabetes. For that reason, diabetic foot care should involve regular (at least yearly) appointments with the podiatrist.
Have you been getting to the ankle and foot doctor as often as you should? Discuss in the comments.