When to Call a Podiatrist

Any of the following circumstances affecting the feet or ankles should prompt a visit to a podiatrist:

  • Persistent pain in your feet or ankles
  • Changes in either the color or thickness of your toenails particularly if there is associated pain
  • Changes in your skin such as peeling, cracking, scaling, or blistering
  • A persistent open wound even if it does not hurt
  • Symptoms which do not improve after two weeks of over the counter remedies
  • Heel pain accompanied by redness, swelling, or warmth.  Numbness and or tingling in the heel
  • Persistent pain in the heel unassociated by any weight bearing or pressure on the heel
  • Persistent pain in the heel not relieved by ice or anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, or Aleve
  • Redness about a wound or red streaks emanating from the wound
  • Any signs of a bacterial infection which include:
    • Increasing pain, redness, swelling, or warmth
    • Red streaks extending from a wound
    • Fever of 100º or higher with no other cause
    • Drainage from an open wound particularly pus.

In a diabetic with an infection, pain may not be present. Signs to also watch out for may include:

  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy (fatigue and/or exhaustion)

Diabetics should have their feet examined no less than once a year to assess the status of their circulation and the nerves supporting their feet. More frequent visits are prudent the longer you have had diabetes and/or the more uncontrolled your glucose (sugar) is. For more information, review the section on the Diabetic Foot.

Parents with concerns about their children’s feet are advised to review the section on Podopediatrics, which is specifically devoted to children’s feet.