As women, we generally tend to pamper and treat our feet. We get a lot of pedicures, complete with a foot spa or leg massage. Our shoe collection showcases the different styles and heel heights that we insist on wearing just to look great. However, because of our lifestyle and choice of footwear, our feet often feel aches and pains that, sometimes, cannot be soothed by a massage or a warm soak. Here are the signs that tell you that you may have to see a podiatrist:
1. Heel Pain
You can blame your stilettos all you want, and relegate them to the back of the closet until the pain stops. But if the pain persists, you definitely have to go to a podiatrist to rule out the possibilities of gout crystals, bone spurs or other injuries.
2. Ingrown Toenails
Maybe you got a little overzealous with your pedicure, and now the skin near the sides of your toenail feel painful and swollen. This condition is called an ingrown toenail, wherein the nail curves to grow back into the skin. Don’t go to the nail salon to let your nail technician deal with it, as it can make matters worse. If you do get an ingrown toenail and if you think that it’s getting worse to the point when even the thought of wearing shoes is simply unbearable, a podiatrist can numb the area around your toe and remove the ingrown toenail.
3. Yellowing or Discolored Toenails
Most women will shrug and attribute the yellowing of their toenails to the nail polish they wore for so long. That might be the case, but when the discoloration is severe, you might have a nail fungus. A podiatrist can prescribe a topical ointment to treat this condition.
4. Hammer Toes
It’s a condition wherein the second toe or other toes are buckled up at the second joint, which causes sores due to pressure on the pad of the hammer toe. This can be uncomfortable or even painful. Your podiatrist can prescribe pads and insoles to relieve the pressure, and in some severe cases, the hammer toe can be operated on.
Apart from limiting your footwear choices, this is a very serious condition wherein the joint between the foot and the big toe can be swollen. This can cause the gait of the one afflicted to be crooked, and it can be painful as well, so bunions need medical attention and should be treated by a podiatrist.
6. Swollen Feet
More adult women are susceptible to swollen feet than men, primarily because women wear different kinds of shoes for different occasions. Most women prefer to endure pain just to be able to show off an expensive, branded, and recently-bought pair of shoes. However, wearing too-tight shoes can easily cut off blood circulation in the feet, and as a result, the feet swell. Instead of seeing a physician who will prescribe medicine, go to a podiatrist. This professional will know some exercises and massages that will relieve the problematic area and reduce the inflammation.
It is no secret that when a woman is pregnant, her body will undergo several changes, including the feet. In fact, in the second trimester of pregnancy, the feet are expected to swell and be more sensitive than usual. The lower legs are expected to carry more weight, and pregnancy hormones cause blood to be overproduced. These will lead the feet to increase in size, and possibly contract edema. This can cause discomfort to the expecting mother, especially since she cannot use certain types of medication and other kinds of products during this stage. It is best to see a podiatrist in order to know how to avoid or bring relief to the discomfort.
Our feet take a beating everyday and it’s only right to care for them properly. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s a good idea to seek medical help. Most women who opt to ignore these symptoms run the risk of making a treatable condition worse, so consult a podiatrist to ensure that your feet will get the best care.