Are you experiencing toenail problems, odours, bunions, heel pain, corns, calluses, blisters and warts on your feet? You might need to see a podiatrist. However, your first step should be visiting your general practitioner who should refer you to a podiatrist. A podiatrist can be more expensive than your general practitioner. It would be better to let your doctor have a look first to determine whether your problem requires the expertise of a podiatrist.
The podiatrist also handles sports injuries to your feet and gives foot care to people with diabetes. Here is some important information to help you better understand podiatry clinic services:
Your First Visit to the Podiatry Clinic
You may find that your doctor has already informed the podiatrist of your situation. However, he or she may still want to hear it from you. The podiatrist asks various questions about your medical history, such as when your foot problem started and what you have tried to alleviate your problem. It is usually a question and answer session.
Next, your podiatrist performs a visual and physical examination of your feet, and depending on what problem you have, an x-ray can be done. The podiatrist also checks the blood flow to your feet and the sensation. You might be asked to walk for a few metres so that the podiatrist can examine your gait. He or she also inspects your footwear; it can tell a lot about your feet.
Some foot conditions can require swab and blood tests. Therefore, keep in mind that your blood might be drawn.
After Examinations and Tests
If blood and swab tests are conducted, you might have to wait for the results. If you don't have to wait for any results, it means you only required a visual and physical examination. After getting your results, the podiatrist informs you of treatment or management plans.
For people with diabetes, it is usually important to take extra care of your feet. The podiatrist even emphasises it. A diabetic person usually loses sensation to his or her feet and can't tell if they have an injury or not. It becomes infected and you can even die. Podiatrists should educate every patient they see on proper foot care.
However, there are key things you should know about foot care: always keep your feet clean and dry. Don't walk barefoot on rough, sharp or dirty ground and keep your toenails short and neat. Additionally, try not to wear shoes that are too small, too big or uncomfortable.