Many times the problems in your feet and ankles go away with time, rest, ice, anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and shoe gear changes. Sometimes those problems won’t go away, and that’s when you probably need a podiatrist’s help and expertise.
A Wound or Sore That Does Not Heal
If you have an open sore on your foot or ankle, you need to see a podiatrist. This is especially important if you have diabetes because it usually takes you longer to heal. You have a better chance of healing if you are seen by your podiatrist right away and treatment is started. If you have had an open sore for a long time, your chance of getting a skin or a bone infection increases.
For the most part, both of your feet should look alike. If one foot is a lot different color than the other, there may be a problem. Redness may be an indication of an infection or gout. A blue or purple color may indicate a vein problem. Whiteness or paleness may be a sign of decreased blood flow. If you have these color changes, you need to see a podiatrist.
Pain and Swelling in One Foot
If you have pain and swelling in one foot and not the other, this is not normal. You should see a podiatrist. There are many problems that could be causing the pain and swelling such as a broken bone, tendonitis, tendon rupture or infection. It is more common to have swelling in both feet and ankles and this could be due to a serious condition.
Numbness, Burning and Tingling
things can be signs of neuropathy, which can cause decreased sensation in your feet. Diabetes is one of the many things that can cause neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that needs to be followed by a podiatrist. Having neuropathy puts you at increased risk for developing foot ulcers.
Foot Pain with Legs Elevated
If you have pain in your feet when you are lying in bed and the pain goes away when you dangle your feet off the side of the bed, this may be a sign of decreased blood flow or peripheral artery disease. This is a condition that needs to be addressed by a few different doctors. You may start with a podiatrist, but you may also need to see a vascular surgeon.
A Deformity that Progresses Suddenly
One example of such a deformity is charcot arthropathy. Charcot is a problem that can occur when you have diabetes. Signs and symptoms include pain, redness and a hot, swollen foot. Charcot can lead to the bones breaking and slipping out of place. If left untreated, the bones may heal in a bad position causing a foot deformity. You should see a podiatrist right away.
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