The Importance of Podiatry
We get questions like, "why do I need a podiatrist?" more often than you'd think. Simply put, the inability to walk, have mobility, and move around effectively can have a discouraging and significant impact on your quality of life.
That's where a podiatrist comes in — a doctor specializing in assisting with ailments in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Visiting a podiatrist is the most effective way to care for your feet and ankles.
Below, we've compiled a helpful guide to know when you or your loved one should schedule an appointment with us.
You Are Diabetic
Excess sugar levels in the bloodstream cause diabetes, which can damage your immune system and nerve endings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of those with diabetes experience nerve damage, particularly in their feet.
Diabetes also directly affects the blood vessels in your feet, which can lead to severe complications. For example, diabetes can cause peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which makes it challenging to reach your feet and toes when standing up.
If you have diabetes and have any of these symptoms in your feet—or if they are worsening— you should contact your podiatrist immediately.
You Can't Feel Your Feet
As a result of nerve damage caused by diabetes, numbness often occurs in the feet; however, foot numbness can also occur from peripheral neuropathy, cancer, or other infectious inflammation.
Your feet may feel painful and tingly when you walk because there isn't enough blood flow. Nerve pain and numbness are often accompanied by:
- Burning or needle sensation in the feet
- Loss of balance or difficulty in walking
- Muscle weakness standing up
You Experience Persistent Foot Pain
If you have consistent pain in your feet, it can indicate that something is wrong. It is never a good idea to ignore any pain that has been ongoing for two weeks or more.
Some common reasons you may be experiencing foot pain include:
- Corns and calluses
- Heel spurs
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Sprains, fractures, or breaks
If left untreated, simple ailments can turn into chronic pain that is much worse than before. Visit a podiatrist to figure out the cause of your foot or ankle pain.
Your Toenail Is Thick or Ingrown
Ingrown toenails are incredibly painful and result from your toenail's corners growing at an angle, cutting into the skin. Most happen in the big toe and can cause the toenail to grow thicker.
If you have redness around the nail, pain when walking or wearing shoes, or tenderness when moving your toes, you may have an ingrown toenail.
This ailment is a common condition that your podiatrist can readily cure. Your podiatrist may recommend soaking your feet in warm water or permanently removing the ingrown toenails through non-invasive surgery.
You Have Bad Foot Odor
We've all been there: you take your shoes off after a hard day and immediately notice a stench. Even though some foot odor is natural and inevitable, you should see a podiatrist if your feet are persistently smelly.
Why might you have a foul foot odor? There are several reasons, but the most common include hyperhidrosis, fungi, or poor hygiene. Your podiatrist can go over the specifics and get you on track for better-smelling results.
You Want to Check the Overall Health of Your Feet
Believe it or not, you don't have to have a foot or ankle ailment to visit a podiatrist. Foot health gives insight into an individual's overall well-being and seeing a podiatrist can help you determine if your feet and body are healthy.
Put Your Feet in Experienced Hands
Whether it is pain, numbness, infection, or routine care, it is crucial to see the podiatrist as soon as possible. Visit us at Bux-Mont Foot & Ankle Care Centers to address whatever foot and ankle issue you might be suffering from.
With a caring and intelligent group of medical professionals, our team focuses on providing you with a high level of care, education, and treatments for prolonged health. Contact us online or call us at (215) 392-4009 today!