A podiatrist is a doctor who treats the foot. The doctor must have studied podiatric medicine. Therefore, he or she is a physician or surgeon who treats the ankle, foot, and other parts connecting the leg. Another name for a podiatrist is chiropodist. It is still used in some areas.
Like other types of surgeons and physicians, podiatrists complete four years of study and training in a certified podiatric school. After that, they gain experience of about four years in residency training in clinics and hospitals. Then one is required to pass all the exams and get certified by a relevant board. Some podiatrists also complete specialized fellowship training that focuses on certain areas. In this way, a podiatrist has concerned a specialist in foot health.
You should note that podiatrists treat all people notwithstanding the age. Also, they treat a wide range of foot conditions. That is similar to a general care physician or family doctor. You should note that some podiatrists are specialized in various areas of foot medicine. They can be specialists in surgery, sports medicine, wound care, diabetes, pediatric care, and other forms of foot care.
If your feet are hurting, it is advisable to see a podiatrist. It does not matter whether you do not have foot pain; it is advisable to go for medical checkups. For instance, a podiatrist can safely remove the hardened skin on the feet and clip the toenails as required.
Common Foot Problems
Common foot problems include ingrown toenails, warts, corns, calluses, blisters, warts, nail infections, foot injuries, and sprains. You can also find podiatrists that focus on the specific feet problems that include bunion removal, tumors, walking patterns, amputations, corrective orthotics, and foot prosthetics.
When you have certain health conditions, you are likely to suffer from foot issues. These include obesity, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol. People suffering from diabetes are at high risk of various foot problems. You should pay attention to any given change in the way your feet feel. Ensure you record all signs and symptoms relating to your feet in a journal.
When underlying conditions are treated, you can help ease foot pain. Inform your podiatrist whether you have symptoms of diabetic foot. Signs to look for include dry or cracked skin, cracked toenails, discolored toenails, tenderness, sore, and bad foot odor.
In some cases, you may need to see both the family doctor and a podiatrist.