Activity, aging and genetics can all lead to foot problems which we will all likely experience, at some point in our lives. A podiatrist is a licensed healthcare specialist who treats foot and ankle problems with medical solutions, as well as preventative care. Sometimes it can be confusing to select the right medical specialist to see for an ailment. So let’s take a look at what a podiatrist does and the problems that we can help with. Come and see a podiatrist if you are concerned about any of the following;
- Your nails are painful, ingrown, discoloured or thickened
Nails can be a window to your overall health. If you notice changes in your nails, it may be from a fungal infection, trauma, poor circulation or dermatological factors. Education and management of nail care are essential in these cases allow nail growth to improve.Ingrown toe nails can be very difficult and painful to manage by yourself and can chronically keep recurring. Commonly antibiotics are prescribed by a Doctor to help alleviate infection and pain; however the root cause of this condition has to be investigated. For effective treatment Podiatrists can advise an appropriate corrective treatment plan, solving this painful condition permanently.
- Skin problems on the soles of your feet
If your feet are red, itchy and the skin is scaly and dry, this can be associated with a fungal infection and may also be a dermatological issue. This should be treated appropriately.Plantar warts, or ‘verrucas,’ are very common in the UAE, especially amongst children. This is a viral infection which is easily spread in warm, moist conditions where people walk barefoot (swimming pools, home).You should see a Podiatrist, if you notice a small, new bump on your foot. Plantar warts look similar to a cauliflower head and have minute black dots that look like pepper. There are numerous ways to treat warts, although at Dubai Podiatry Centre we have pioneered a treatment method with much higher and faster success rates than conventional and outdated treatment methods such as salicylic acid or cryotherapy.Painful corns and callous The appearance of callous/hard skin are symptoms of excessive pressure on parts of your foot. Podiatrists will not only remove callous and hard skin, but a biomechanics Podiatrist will diagnose any underlying biomechanical cause, to allow prevention of callous and corns returning. Corns and callous are formed from excess pressure/friction on a particular area. At Dubai Podiatry Centre, we do not just keep on treating the same issue over and over such as recurrent corns or callous, but diagnose and correct any actual underlying cause.
- Sports and Biomechanics
When you exercise do you ever have pain in your lower back, knees, legs, ankle or foot? Here at Dubai Podiatry Centre, all our Podiatrists specialize in biomechanics, which is the study of the mechanics and function of the human body, particularly the foot, ankle, leg and hip. This is very important for understanding patterns of injury and developing treatment plans, which will treat existing symptoms of injury and prevent future sporting injuries. It is crucial that any biomechanical anomaly, whether in young budding athletes of the future to professional footballers is addressed and corrected or managed to avoid chronic injury and ensure top performance.
- ‘Flat feet’ or a lowering of the arch
You have ‘flat feet’, which you feel fatigue easily when walking or running? You have heel pain; especially first thing in the morning? Your child has heel pain and may complain mostly after sports?‘Flat feet’ can affect the major joints and muscles in the lower limb. A biomechanical assessment will conclude a treatment plan for symptomatic low arches and prevent occurrences of trauma or injury. Most people do not have truly ‘flat feet’ but acquire the appearance of this as their arches collapse, which can be alleviated with the correct diagnosis and podiatric intervention by a specifically trained biomechanics Podiatrist. Dubai Podiatry Centre is the only centre in the Middle East to operate a fully equipped orthotics laboratory in-house to make our fully custom made prescription orthotics and also allow in-house, while you wait adjustments during your orthotic review. Commonly, the ‘alternative’ offered elsewhere is generic or over-the-counter insoles which are out-sourced from manufacturing facilities abroad which do not offer the same, if at all any, level of biomechanical correction. Ask your Podiatrist if they make the orthotics themselves in their own on-site lab, and how any adjustments are made, in order to clarify whether you are being offered ‘customized or generic’ insoles or truly custom made prescription orthotics. The difference is critical to your outcome. Only a qualified, licensed Podiatrist (which is also a legally protected designation) should examine, assess and diagnose biomechanical anomalies of the foot and ankle and prescribe appropriate orthotic therapy. Other subspecialities such as ‘orthotist’ should work under the supervision of a Podiatrist and their remit generally covers making orthotics, and they do not diagnose, assess or see patients.
- Do you have Diabetes?
The UAE has the highest prevalence of diabetes worldwide. Locally in the Middle East, it is an area where education and prevention of diabetic complications (ulceration and amputations) is crucial. It is very important to have a Diabetic Foot Assessment annually. Diabetes can affect the circulation and level of sensation to the lower limb, particularly in the foot and ankle. As the farthest extremity from the heart, even the smallest changes to your overall diabetic condition/ management can show up first and be most easily detected in your feet. The eyes are another part of the body that should be examined annually as the smallest organ of the body, again showing up any small changes. Both of these should be tested annually (or more frequently if at higher risk) so that your diabetic condition and management can be monitored and changed accordingly to prevent more serious, longterm damage from occurring undetected to more vital organs. Podiatrists can assess and monitor the foot and ankle and educate you, on how does this work at home.All of the above have a podiatric solution; Podiatrists aim to get you mobile and active! If you have any concerns about your feet and legs, you know to contact our specialist expert Podiatrists at Dubai Podiatry Centre, on 04 3435390.