When to see a podiatrist

Posted on: 19 July 2019


The feet are very vulnerable to injury, and their incapacitation can affect the whole body. A podiatrist is a specialised doctor trained to deal with foot and ankle conditions. You should see a podiatrist in the following situations:

Foot numbness and swelling 

A swollen or numb foot occasionally is no cause for concern. However, if these conditions occur regularly, you should see a podiatrist. The numbness could be because of tendonitis or a broken bone. You should watch out for any tingling that accompanies the paralysis, as it could be an indicator of nerve damage.


Diabetes is a health condition with different side effects, one being nerve damage in the body. Individuals with diabetes are more prone to feet problems such as infections and poor circulation. A podiatrist designs a custom treatment plan to reduce the impact of diabetes complications. They ensure that the nerves in the feet are carefully monitored and educate the patient on self-care procedures when necessary. They can also prescribe antibiotics, antifungals and corrective footwear for diabetic foot disorders. Diabetic individuals should consult a podiatrist annually for a foot examination to prevent any potential problems.

Foot and ankle problems

Daily use of our feet and wearing ill-fitting shoes can lead to acute pain in the feet. It can also cause sprains, strains and fractures. You should not ignore this pain and instead consult a podiatrist. A podiatrist can assess your feet and make an accurate diagnosis as well as recommend a treatment plan. They are also trained to deal in surgical treatment should the need arise. 

Heel pain is also a common problem due to overuse of the foot. The failure to treat the heel pain immediately may lead to a tear or fracture.

Nail problems

Fungal infections or ingrown toenails can cause nail problems. Specific fungus such as candida albicans causes fungal infections in nails. A humid and dark environment creates a conducive environment for the growth of fungi. Other factors such as public bathrooms, infected equipment and having diabetes predispose an individual to fungal infection. A podiatrist can prescribe nail care, antifungal medication and the use of laser treatments or surgery to remove the infected nail.

You can also suffer from ingrown toenails that are very painful if left untreated. Fungal nail infections, ill-fitting footwear or bunions cause ingrown nails. A podiatrist can determine the actual cause of the ingrown toenail and recommend the appropriate cause of treatment.