Out of sight, out of mind? For many individuals, foot care is often neglected. It’s easy to take feet for granted and put up with discomfort, especially when we can still move through life without major hiccups. Plus, most people are used to seeing a primary care physician as their first line of healthcare, and may not even be aware of the role of a podiatrist, or foot doctor, for treating foot and ankle problems. Depending on your issues, that may keep you from obtaining the quality of foot and ankle care that you may need right away.
So, what exactly is a Podiatrist?
Dr. Gabriel Maislos, DPM, FACFAS
A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (the “D.P.M.” designation in a foot doctor’s credentials). They inspect, diagnose and treat common foot and ankle conditions as well as related structures of the leg. Because of their extensive training, podiatrists are the most qualified doctors to care for your feet. Key specialties include sports medicine, wound care, surgery and diabetic foot care. Dr. Gabriel Maislos of Houston Foot and Ankle Care has multiple board certifications, and vast expertise in these areas of foot care and podiatric surgery.
Foot and ankle problems can have a wide variety of causes, from trauma to hereditary or medical conditions including diabetes and arthritis. Not sure if you should see a foot care specialist?
Here are just a few common situations that should prompt you to seek an evaluation from a board certified podiatrist in Houston:
- Discoloration on the foot
If you notice that one of your feet has a different color than the other, it may be a sign of a foot condition. For example, if you observe that your foot is red, it can be a sign of infection, gout, corns and calluses, Bunions, Morton’s neuroma, or other inflammation. A blue or purple color can indicate trauma or circulation issues. In any event, a local podiatrist can diagnose the problem accurately, explaining the causes, treatment options and steps you can take immediately.
- Long term wound or sore
If you have a wound or sore on your foot that has failed to heal properly, you must see a Podiatrist urgently. Open wounds that fail to heal in a timely manner are commonly an indicator of diabetes, or other problems related to poor circulation or infection. Delaying treatment can worsen the wound and promote infections that may lead to emergency amputation. With a board certified podiatrist like Dr. Maislos on your medical team, you can count on expert care to help avoid potential complications. At Houston Foot and Ankle Care, we work with diabetic patients to manage problems and and to prevent future issues through regular checkups.
- Painful lump
A foot with a painful lump that is growing gradually should be seen by a Podiatrist immediately. This may be a sign of a type of cyst, plantar fibroma, or plantar fibromatosis. This kind of lump can develop into a tumor which is more serious. If you notice such lump on your feet, it is time to see a Podiatrist.
- Prolonged foot pain
Foot pain can be caused by injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation that involves tendons in the foot. If the pain refuses to go away after applying conservative treatments like resting /icing or over-the-counter pain medication, it is time to see a Podiatrist. Foot pain is also common in patients who have had surgery. If you fall into this category, and the pain in the foot doesn’t diminish, make an appointment with a Podiatrist. They will diagnose the root cause of your foot pain and map out a treatment plan.
- Swelling or inflammation in one foot
If you notice abnormal and severe swelling or inflammation in one or both of your feet, make an appointment with a Houston podiatrist. Severe swelling is often associated with tendonitis, infection, fractures, and other serious issues that require prompt medical attention from a foot care specialist.
The general situations listed above are meant for individuals who have experienced these types of symptoms, but didn’t have a clear understanding of how a podiatrist is uniquely prepared to help them resolve such issues. However, Dr. Maislos, DPM, FACFAS, can also help you manage and treat more common issues, including: bunions, calluses, corns, ankle sprains, athletes foot, flat feet, toenail fungus infections, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, tendonitis, and fractures of the foot and ankle. Call our office at (713) 541-3199 to make an appointment.