Things Podiatrists would like their patients to know

I came across a very humorous meme at the weekend which I thought was so apt. It was entitled, Top 5 signs that you are a pod.
1. Nobody will go shoe shopping with you
2. You regularly explain to family and friends what is wrong with random strangers when you do on the spot gait analysis in a supermarket.
3. You have been called a paediatrician at least 5 times.
4. You have considered having a card made to show to people when they ask you what the difference between a chiropodist and a podiatrist is.
5. You are quite used to people saying; “I couldn’t do you job.”
Even your dentist says it!

Though this was obviously very amusing, it got me thinking about 5 things I would like patients to know as a podiatrist. This is my list:
1. Feet can be classified into numerous types which will mean that certain footwear will better suit certain types of foot. That being said, certain features in a shoe are desirable whatever your foot-type. These features being: a fastening mechanism (whether a strap or laces), a slight heel (approx. 20mm), a wide/deep, foot-shaped toebox, a stiff counter (the section that fits around the heel) and an outsole that is man-made and shock absorbing.
2. Your podiatrist will shape your nails acording to their natural shape when cutting them using sterile instruments. The instruments you use on your nails at home are not sterile and it is therefore advisable to cut nails straight across. It is also advisable to not dig down the nail folds in order to avoid bacterial infections. Use a file frequently to keep nails smoothed off and always file in one direction only to avoid damaging the nail fibres.
3. Moisturise your feet regularly after a light bit of filing. This will keep your skin in its best possible condition and avoid it from breaking down. Avoid barrier creams or oil or petroleum-based products (Vaseline). These do well to keep moisture in the skin if it is already present but do little to add moisture to dry skin. Urea-based emollients are best for this.
4. Diabetes is an incredibly prevalent disease and has profound long-term effects on the feet. Diabetic foot complications are not to be feared but vigilance in preventing these is required. Regular inspection of the feet is important making sure that the skin is intact and that the overall condition of the feet is good at all times. In addition, make sure you see your Podiatrist for annual diabetic neurovascular foot checks and regulr routine maintenance.
5. Foot posture and general lower limb presentation in children are constantly changing. Parts of the long bones of the legs will grow at different speeds resulting in children appearing to be bow-legged and then knock-kneed depending on the developmental stage they are entering. This can means feet appear to be very flat through some of these stages but will then correct on most cases. That being said, if you are in any doubt, do check with your Podiatrist as to whether your child is within normal ranges.
I hope you have found these basic tips useful and please do feel free to contact us at Free Your Feet Podiatry if you have any queries concerning the above whatsoever. We look forward to hearing from you.

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