Issues with your feet can leave you in pain and occasionally embarrassed, but not seeking the help of a medical professional should never be an option. If you feel that your feet aren't as healthy as you'd like, your first phone call should be to a podiatrist's clinic to describe the issue and ask if a podiatry appointment is the right approach to take. In many cases the answer you receive will be positive and you'll be able to promptly make your appointment to start the healing process. While a variety of different foot ailments can warrant a visit to the podiatrist, these three can typically be treated with favorable results.
Heel pain can make every step excruciating, which can drastically diminish your overall quality of life. Given that heel pain can be symptomatic of a long list of causes, including bursitis, tendinitis, gout or plantar fasciitis, it's important to have your heel inspected by a podiatrist. The podiatrist will be able to determine the reason for the pain in your heel, potentially involving other health practitioners as needed, and provide solutions to your discomfort. In the case of plantar fasciitis, for example, it's often possible to reduce your pain through a series of specialized stretches that the podiatrist will expertly take you through.
Having discolored toenails can prevent you from wearing sandals during the summer, but this issue is more than simply a visual concern. This discoloration can often result from a fungal infection, which might also include symptoms such as itchiness, inflammation and even pain. The podiatrist will be able to get to the bottom of the problem, suggest an anti-fungal cream to help with the issue and then help you with some sock and shoe advice that can prevent the fungus from returning. For example, wearing fresh socks and avoiding old shoes can often keep this form of infection at bay.
It's common for uncomfortable foot blisters to develop on your heels, toes or soles after several hours of walking, but if you're noticing signs of blisters on a regular basis, there might be something more concerning at bay. Your podiatrist will investigate your shoes to determine if they're the culprit; often, poorly fitting shoes can dramatically increase your risk of painful blisters. You'll then have your feet assessed so that your podiatrist can determine what shape of footwear will suit you best.