Foot problems are extremely common. In fact, very few people will go through life without experiencing at least a few ankle and foot injuries. But when can you let these heal on their own, and when is it time to make an appointment with a local podiatrist (ankle and foot doctor)? Here are five signs you need to find a podiatrist as quickly as possible:
- If You Are Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic
Because of the way diabetes affects blood flow and the nerves, it both causes foot problems and makes it difficult for you to self-assess how serious they are. A simple ingrown toenail can quickly turn into an issue requiring surgery or even amputation, so it’s best not to delay in seeking help.
- If You See Any Signs of Infection
Any sign of infection in the feet should be promptly treated by a medical professional. Those signs include swelling, redness, heat, foul odor, and pus draining from an open sore or wound.
- If You Feel Numbness or Tingling
Both numbness and tingling can indicate problems with the nervous system, which is something that needs to be addressed immediately. This is a problem that is very unlikely to go away on its own.
- If You’re Seeing Lumps and Bumps
Although many lumps in or on the feet are just harmless cysts or callous buildups, there’s always a chance that a growth is a tumor. It’s simply not worth taking the risk that it’s the latter, and you’ll get peace of mind by having it assessed.
- If Your Symptoms Don’t Go Away
In general, you shouldn’t be waiting more than a week or so for foot injury symptoms to dissipate. Keep in mind that what you think is just a bruise or stubbed toe could be something more serious (like a stress fracture) if it isn’t healing quickly on its own.
What are some other symptoms that indicate it’s best to find a podiatrist, rather than trying at-home treatments? Join the discussion in the comments.