12 Things Your Podiatrist Won’t Tell You
What favourite shoe keeps podiatrists in business? What do podiatrists wish you’d do before your appointment? Here’s what your podiatrist wants you to know.
1. When you go into a shoe store, your salesperson should measure your feet
A lot of you have been wearing the same-size shoe for the past 30 years because no one measures you anymore, but feet often get bigger as you age.
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2. Your feet don’t need to smell
You use antiperspirant on your armpits to keep them from getting stinky, don’t you? The same stuff works on your feet. Try the spray kind. Alternate your shoes so they have a chance to dry completely, and wear socks. Otherwise, the sweat will promote the growth of bacteria that stay in your shoes.
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3. Infections from nail salons keep us in business
If you want a pedicure, book the first appointment of the day, when the equipment is cleaner. Those foot baths can be especially germy. Even if technicians spray the basin between customers, many of the tubs have drains and filters that don’t get cleaned.
5. Some podiatrists will shorten toes or do injections so you can wear high heels more comfortably…
…But I don’t believe in cosmetic surgery for feet. You shouldn’t have surgery if you’re not in pain, because you will have pain after surgery—that’s a guarantee. It has to be worth it. Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble.
6. Buy shoes at a specialty running store, even if you just walk for exercise
Well-trained staff will help you get the right athletic shoe—they can really analyze your foot and gait.
7. I’ve seen all sorts of things, including people who have shot their feet
You really shouldn’t clean your loaded gun after you’ve had a couple of beers. Another dumb move: mowing the lawn in flip-flops. The first weekend of every spring, doctors see a lot of silly injuries.
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8. Sometimes if a bunion is really bad, a patient will ask me to amputate her second toe
I won’t do it, because it won’t fix the problem. I tell those patients to tell their daughters: Look after your future health by getting your bunions taken care of now. If you wait until they get really bad, they’ll be much harder to fix.
9. I don’t have a problem with people getting pedicures, but please don’t shave right before you go
You might be embarrassed by your stubble, but it will be worse when bacteria and fungus enter the microscopic nicks on your ankle and give you an infection.
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10. Over-the-counter “custom-fit” orthotics are a bit of a gimmick
They’ll help if you just need some arch support and padding, but they’re nothing like the orthotics I make after creating a mould of your feet in my office. Orthotics are like eyeglasses for the feet. They’re made to correct the specific biomechanics of the way you walk.
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12. Please wash your feet before you come see me
And change your socks—I can tell if you’ve worn the same ones for three days.
Sources: Jane Andersen, a podiatrist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Marlene Reid, a podiatrist in Naperville, Illinois; Carly Robbins, a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio; Jacqueline Sutera, a podiatrist in New York, New York; Cary Zinkin, a podiatrist in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
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