Six Signs It's Time To Make A Podiatrist Appointment
Most people deal with foot pain on occasion. It's not uncommon to develop a blister or some soreness in an ankle after taking a bad step. Usually, these symptoms disappear within a day or two, and you're no worse off in the long run. But some foot problems are more serious and do require treatment by a knowledgeable podiatrist. Here are six signs it's time to make an appointment.
1. The pain has lasted longer than a week.
If you have any pain, whether it's in your heel or your toes, and it has not gone away within a week, then it's time to see a podiatrist. You may have strained a tendon or a ligament, and a podiatrist can recommend the right orthotics, stretches, or cortisone injections to ensure you heal well.
2. A wound looks red and swollen.
If what started like a blister or a minor cut has become red and swollen, this is a sign of infection. An infection on the foot can become very serious quickly, so you need to seek treatment — which will likely involve antibiotics.
3. Part of your foot is numb.
If you cannot feel all or part of your foot, this is a sign of trouble with your nerves. If you are a diabetic, it could indicate that you're developing neuropathy. Otherwise, it could just mean that you have swollen tissues placing pressure on a nerve. It's dangerous to walk around with a numb foot since you could step on something, injure yourself, and not know it.
4. You have a fungal nail infection.
If your toenail has become thick and yellow, this is almost certainly a sign of a fungal infection. These are nearly impossible to treat on your own, so see a podiatrist.
5. You have an ingrown nail.
It's tempting to just trim an ingrown nail yourself, and this may give you temporary relief. But often, the nail will just grow right back into your toe. You need to see a podiatrist who can trim it in a way that prevents it from growing back into your skin, or in severe cases, remove the toenail entirely.
6. You can't put weight on your foot.
If you have a little pain but can walk around okay, then you may want to wait a day or two and see if it feels better. But pain that keeps you from bearing any weight is almost certainly a sign of a break or severe sprain. See a doctor!
When in doubt, call the podiatrist. They may tell you that you have nothing to worry about, but that's better than sitting around and continuing to suffer. For more information, contact a podiatrist in your area today.