What is Podiatry?

Foot problems and the podiatrist

A podiatrist can help you with common foot problems, including ingrown toenails and bunions.

What does a podiatrist do?

Podiatrists are specialist health care professionals who have trained to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs. They also prevent and correct deformity, keep people mobile and active, relieve pain and treat infections.

They can give you and your family advice on how to look after your feet and what type of shoes to wear. They can also treat and alleviate day-to-day foot problems, including:

How can a podiatrist help?

You may want to see a podiatrist for advice and treatment if you have painful feet, thickened or discoloured toenails, cracks or cuts in the skin, growths such as warts, scaling or peeling on the soles, or any other foot-related problem.

Podiatrists can also supply orthotics, which are tailor-made insoles, padding and arch supports to relieve arch or heel pain. You put the orthotic device into your shoe to re-align your foot, take pressure off vulnerable areas of your foot, or simply to make your shoes more comfortable.

Even if your feet are generally in good condition, you might consider having a single session of podiatry to have the hard skin on your feet removed, toenails clipped, to find out if you’re wearing the right shoes (take your shoes with you for specific advice on footwear) or just to check that you’re looking after your feet properly.

Podiatrists can also help with more complex foot problems including preventing, diagnosing and treating injuries related to sports and/or exercise.

What’s the difference between a podiatrist and a chiropodist?

There’s no difference between a podiatrist and chiropodist, but podiatrist is a more modern name and is technically more accurate.

How can I make sure the podiatrist is qualified?

Anyone who calls themselves a podiatrist or chiropodist will have undertaken a 3 year full-time course and must register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Go to the HCPC website to check if your podiatrist is registered.