A podiatrist is a medically trained professional who treats the foot and ankle. They can also perform surgery, if necessary. How do you find the best podiatrist for your needs, and what do you ask at your appointment?
Here are seven conditions about your foot health that you will want to ask your doctor about.
1. Why Do I Have Foot Numbness?
If your feet or toes feel numb, it could be a result of an injury or simply because your shoes are too tight. However, numbness could also be a symptom of something more serious, such as poor blood circulation or nerve damage. Both of these conditions are associated with diabetes. Your podiatrist may need to conduct some tests to make a determination of the cause of your foot numbness.
2. Why Do I Have Cold Feet?
If your feet are cold and they warm up with cozy socks, you are probably okay. But if your feet are cold and you also have other symptoms such as fatigue, and hair loss, your podiatrist might want to check you for a slow thyroid condition.
3. Why Do I Have Itchy, Flaky Skin on My Feet?
Your doctor will be able to tell right away if this is athlete’s foot, which is a fungal infection. Or, you could simply have dry skin, and need to moisturize your feet regularly.
4. Why Do I Have Heel Pain?
If you have a sharp pain shooting up from your heel, you could have plantar fasciitis. Your podiatrist may recommend stretching exercises and rest, which may be able to help.
5. Why Do I Have Discolored Nails?
Yellow, thick, or broken nails could be a sign of nail fungus. There are anti-fungal products and treatments available which your doctor could recommend.
6. Why Do I Have a Painful Big Toe?
If your big toe swells up, becomes red and you have extreme foot pain, it could indicate that you have gout. Your foot care specialist will advise you on this.
7. Why Do I Have a Hammer Toe?
Does your toe bend at the middle joint? If so, you may have hammer toe and you are not alone. Every year, hammer toe cases number 200,000, according to a report issued by the Mayo Clinic. This condition is caused by tight shoes and can become very painful. When you find the best podiatrist for your needs, they will be able tell if you do or not. At that point, your foot doctor will be able to make a determination if surgery would be recommended to help.
Foot care is an important part of taking care of your overall health. When you find the best podiatrist to take care of your foot care needs, you will be on the right track to taking care of your general well being.