Sometimes at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we find that our patients have preconceived notions about what a foot doctor does. At times these can stop them from coming in soon enough for a foot issue or, they may be surprised about recommendations the foot doctor makes.
Below are some things we would like our patients to know:
1. We deal with more than feet—many times a foot condition is the result of an ankle or knee problem and just as often a foot problem can cause issues for the other parts of your lower leg. Foot doctors deal with your entire lower extremity—from your knees down to your toes. Foot pain can be caused by the way you walk or it can alter your gait—the podiatrist doesn’t look at your feet in isolation.
2. No problem is too “common” and we wish patients would come to us and not try to treat themselves. We have often heard patients say, “I didn’t want to bother you about an ingrown toenail,” and by the time they come to the office the toe is infected and extremely painful. We would much prefer to see you sooner rather than later, even for seemingly simple foot problems and please, do not attempt any “bathroom surgery,” such as cutting out the toenail.
3. Don’t put off your appointment because you are embarrassed by the way your feet look. Some studies have shown that women would rather go to the gynecologist than the podiatrist. Bunions, corns, fungal toenails—we’ve seen it all. We know it’s not your fault if your feet look less than perfect and we’re here to help, not judge!
4. Foot odor can be a sign of a medical problem—another reason people don’t want to come to us is because their feet smell bad. Foot odor can be a sign of a medical problem called hyperhidrosis, where you have overly active sweat glands. We can prescribe treatment for this disorder.
5. Your feet can be the early warning system to your body. Several systemic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and peripheral artery disease may first show signs in your feet. That’s why you shouldn’t ignore any symptoms or unusual changes in your feet, even if they are not painful. Make an appointment at our Somers Point office so our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, can examine your feet and diagnose and treat any medical conditions—big or small--that may be there.