Signs That It May Be Time to See a Podiatrist

Posted on: 1 October 2015


Sore and aching feet don't always need the attention of a doctor; soreness after being on your feet all day or wearing shoes that pinch can be expected, and certain minor injuries of the feet may simply heal on their own. However, there are times when you want to see a podiatrist to have your feet examined and have him or her intervene. Certain conditions may not heal by themselves and may be very serious, so they may require medical attention as soon as you notice them. Note the following.

1. Severe pain or swelling after an injury

If you stub your toe or twist your ankle slightly while walking, you may only need to wait for the pain to subside. However, if you've severely twisted your ankle or have otherwise suffered a major injury, and especially if you notice severe pain and swelling, you want to visit a podiatrist. You may have broken a bone or sprained a joint in your foot, or may have damaged the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of the foot. Not having these treated as you should can mean increased pain over time and a wound that may not heal on its own. 

2. Abnormal lumps or bumps on the feet

Lumps and bumps on the feet can be ankle or other bone spurs, or simply warts. They can also be signs of skin cancer or other serious conditions. You should never ignore lumps and bumps anywhere on your body, but unfortunately many people assume that bumps on the feet are simply calluses or other conditions that they can overlook. No matter their size or appearance, if you suddenly notice lumps and bumps of any sort, see a podiatrist at least for a proper examination and diagnosis.

3. Blisters, bleeding, or cracking of the skin

Your feet may be somewhat dry and the skin may crack slightly around the heels, simply because the skin in that area is so thick. You may also note some dryness after keeping your feet in thick socks all day, or if you just tend to have dry skin. Even so, very severe problems with the skin on your feet shouldn't be ignored, and especially if you have blisters that won't heal and any type of bleeding. You may have a foot fungus or an infection in an open wound that should be treated so it won't spread and simply get worse over time. Very dry and cracked skin may also need prescription medication so it doesn't start to bleed and increase your risk of infection.