What to Know Before Seeing a Foot Doctor

December 24, 2017

health

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Consider pain in the feet as a warning sign of potential health problems. Common issues that often send people to a physician include fungal infections, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, and unpleasant odors. Before issues become serious, see a foot doctor. It’s better to move quickly at the first sign of discomfort than to wait until symptoms worsen. Learn information about podiatrists before making your appointment to prepare yourself.

Typical Office Visits

The first appointment with a foot doctor often includes more chatting than anything else. Expect the physician to ask many background questions to learn about symptoms and issues. Although you may feel embarrassed about your feet, podiatrists are familiar with typical issues that affect many people. It’s unlikely that your particular problems will be unusual or more unpleasant than that of other patients seen by a physician. The podiatrist may want to watch you walk to assess your gait. Typical walking patterns can be an integral part of foot health and problems.

Preparing for an Appointment

Prior preparation will help you make the most of your appointment. Write down details about your health history if you think you might forget some of this information. Include details such as surgeries, illnesses, and family health history. If you have copies of test results and X-rays that connect with your current issues, bring these items with you. Write down all medications you are currently taking, including vitamins and other over-the-counter medications. Either bring or wear the shoes you wear most often to your appointment. The foot doctor can examine these shoes to see your typical wear pattern, which can provide important information for diagnosis. If you have specific questions or concerns, write them down so you can remember these talking points. Think about the times when you feel symptoms the most so you can share these details with the physician. For example, if you notice discomfort when exercising or sitting, note these details to share with the doctor. Keep a log of symptoms for several days, if necessary.

What Not To Do

Many people feel compelled to perform excessive self-care before a podiatrist appointment. Women might want to shave their legs before seeing the physician, but this is not mandatory. Avoid getting a pedicure or painting your toenails. Having unpainted toenails will allow the foot doctor to examine them more effectively. Do not trim your toenails, either. This will enable the physician to take a sample, if necessary.

Final Instructions

Wash your feet well before your foot doctor visit. Physicians usually appreciate examining clean feet. Wear clean socks to avoid odors. Be ready with questions so that you may leave the appointment with a clear understanding of any potential issues. When you get information from the physician, make sure you understand it. Ask follow-up questions to learn as much as possible about your condition, and recommended treatments.

It’s easy to overlook your feet unless they hurt. To keep your feet healthy, pay attention to symptoms and be proactive to seek treatments for problems. Faster diagnosis often minimizes issues and helps you overcome them with ease.