When it comes to seeking medical care, most people focus on visiting their general practitioner about basic health issues like blood pressure, cholesterol, and the like. However, there are many different types of doctors that can help you with a variety of health problems. A podiatrist, for example, is a foot and ankle specialist that can help you deal with an array of foot and ankle troubles. Learn more about some of the reasons you may want to visit a podiatrist. Then, you can be sure you get the care you need for your feet and ankles when you need it.
You Have an Ingrown Toenail
One of the many conditions that podiatrists treat regularly is ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows down into the nail bed and/or the skin surrounding the nail rather than growing normally. Ingrown toenails are a common problem that many people struggle with and are most prevalent on the big toe.
Sometimes, ingrown toenails resolve on their own, and other times, they require medical care. If your toenail becomes red, warm to the touch, swollen, and/or begins to leak pus or blood, you will want to schedule an appointment with a foot doctor. These are signs that the toe has become infected. These infections, though usually minor, can spread and become difficult to treat if not addressed as soon as possible.
Your podiatrist may be able to pull the nail back and possibly clip the offending portion. However, sometimes excision of a larger portion of the nail will be necessary. This is done with a local anesthetic and is a quick and easy procedure to have done.
You Have Chronic Foot, Heel, or Ankle Pain
Most people experience pain in their feet, ankles, or heels at one point or another. This is normal. But when pain in those areas becomes chronic, meaning it lasts for more than a few days or keeps coming back, you should go see a podiatrist to assess your situation.
The podiatrist will perform a thorough examination of your foot and ankle. They may also do x-rays and other diagnostic tests to determine what is causing your pain issues. Then, they will recommend a course of treatment. Conservatively, the treatment may involve braces and other orthotic devices to wear regularly. More aggressive treatments could include corticosteroid injections or surgery.
Now that you know about some of the reasons you may want to see a podiatrist, you can be sure you schedule an appointment with one as soon as you have one of these podiatry-related issues. For more information, contact a clinic like Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists.