What does a Podiatrist do?
Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who have been trained to diagnose and treat abnormal conditions of the feet 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.
How can a Podiatrist help?
You may want to see a Podiatrist for advice and treatment if you have painful feet, thickened or discoloured toenails, cracks or cuts in the skin, growths such as warts and verrucas, scaling or peeling on the soles, or any other foot-related problem.
Podiatrists can also supply orthotics, which are tailor-made insoles, padding and arch supports to relieve arch or heel pain.
The orthotic is put into your shoe to try and realign your foot, take pressure off vulnerable areas of your foot, or simply make your shoes more comfortable.
Even if your feet are generally in good condition, you might consider having a single session of podiatry.
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 (take your shoes with you) 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's the difference between a podiatrist and a chiropodist?
There's no difference between a Podiatrist and Chiropodist, but Podiatrist is a more modern name and will usually have undertaken a Degree in Podiatry and be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council(HCPC) – ask for their qualifications and HCPC registration number if unsure.
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 an assessment and formulate a 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.
The session is usually completely painless (even pleasant) and takes 30 to 60 minutes.