Basic hygiene and nail cutting may be all that's needed to keep your feet in good health, but if you develop a problem, you can get professional help from a podiatrist (also known as a chiropodist). Podiatrists can help with a range of issues with your feet.
Getting professional help
Podiatrists are lower limb specialists who can diagnose and treat foot problems.
They can also give you advice on how to prevent problems and how to take care of your feet.
You may want to seek help if you have problems such as:
Older people with diabetes and those with bone deformities caused by arthritis are likely to need professional help from a podiatrist.
Visiting a Health Service podiatrist
You may be entitled to free Health Service podiatry services - mainly for medical foot problems rather than routine care.
These services are available in a variety of places, including local health centres, day centres, and your local doctor's surgery.
If you suffer from diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or severe circulation problems, you will be a priority for HS foot care, although it may not be available in all areas.
You may be able to access the service directly or by referral from your doctor.
If free Health Service treatment is not available in your area, your doctor might suggest you visit a private podiatrist.
If you decide to choose one yourself, it is important to look out for the following qualifications or memberships to make sure you use a highly qualified practitioner:
- a Member or Fellow of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists: MChS or FChS
- a Fellow of the Faculty of Surgery of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists: FCPod (Surg)
- a Diploma in Podiatric Medicine: DPodM - now replaced by the BSc (Hons) Podiatry
- registration with the Health Professions Council
Private fees can vary according to location and the practitioner's experience - you can expect to pay around £25 to £40 per session.
Finding a podiatrist
You can search for a registered podiatrist (chiropodist) at the link below: