At Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS one thing we hate to have to say to a patient is, “You should have come in sooner.” So often by the time a patient comes to us with a foot or ankle concern, a condition that could have been easily relieved with conservative methods now requires much more intense treatment or possibly even surgery. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, would much rather that you be safe than sorry. Below are some signs that it’s time to call the foot doctor:
Pain—pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you are experiencing discomfort in your toes, feet, or ankles, it’s important that you get it evaluated promptly. Even pain that is intermittent or not severe may be the sign of a developing foot condition or an injury.
Something doesn’t look right—changes in the shape of your feet, a toe that appears to be moving out of place or bending in a peculiar way, swelling or lumps or bumps that weren’t there previously can point to a number of potential issues. It may be something as simple as the shoes you are wearing or as complex as a biomechanical or structural problem with your feet. Either way, the podiatrist can track down the source of the issue and make recommendations to correct it.
Changes in skin or nails—the skin on your feet is just as susceptible to skin cancer as on other parts of your body (that’s why it’s essential to apply sunscreen to your feet when they will be exposed outside). Check moles and freckles for changes and report any to the foot doctor immediately. Redness, flakiness, blisters and dry skin can signal a fungal or bacterial infection such as athlete’s foot. Fungal toenails may not be at all painfu,l but can still be spread to other parts of the body. Look for thickening and discoloration of the nails and/or crumbling edges.
It doesn’t feel right—perhaps it’s not pain you’re feeling but stiffness, numbness, tingling or burning. These sensations can be the signs of a nerve problem or a condition associated with a disease such as diabetes. Your feet can be the first place that certain systemic disorders present—another good reason to seek an evaluation early on.