What qualifications should I look for when I
want to find a podiatrist?
Qualifications vary from country to country but in
Australia and New Zealand as all Western
Countries where podiatry is a closed profession, it
is illegal not to be registered with the
Australasian Health Practitioner Regulation
Agency (Podiatry Board of Australia).
Most registered podiatrists belong to
A professional association, and many are
members of the Australasian Podiatry
Association with the post nominals, M A Pod A
Some practitioners include their academic
qualifications such as Diploma of Podiatry (Dip
Pod), Bachelor (BSc) or Master of Science (MSc),
or Docorate (PhD). In the latter case they will use
the pre-nominal "Doctor".
Find a podiatrist
What is the difference between a
podiatrist and a chiropodist?
Historically there is no difference between the
two terms. In Australia both terms are used
within the state acts which govern registration.
As a term chiropody is less popular now and since
podiatry means to treat feet, ‘podiatrist’ is the
The majority of foot problems involve skin or
nails i.e. corns and acute infections. Systemic
diseases, musculo -skeletal and repetitive injury
are the common precursors.
Not everyone however suffers sore feet and
approximately one third of the population at any
age or any stage require services of foot
Do corns have roots?
Corns and callus are Nature's way of protecting
skin surfaces subjected to complex shearing
Increased cell reproduction arises when the
normal skin cells are damaged by friction.
Over a bony prominence this causes skin to
appear deeper as if growing from a core or root.
Successful pain relief comes from excess
skin reduction with a sharp scalpel . This is
almost impossible to do safely for yourself
and needs an expert to do this on your
Hard skin will return within 28 days as the
damaged cells are replaced. All external cause of
friction must be removed.
Are verrucae catching, and can I
go swimming if I have one?
The short answer is conditions apply,
because at certain stages of the life of
the wart (caused by a virus) it may be
more contagious than others. It is
prudent to take precautions.
Viral infections are picked up by physical
contact and can live outside the body
especially in wet conditions e.g. changing
Protecting the sole with rubber socks
reduces the risk of cross infection and
allows those with verruca to swim safely
without contaminating others.
What causes Athlete's Foot and
how can I prevent it?
Athlete's foot is a generic term for fungal infections of
the foot. Fungi and yeasts thrive outside the body in
warm, moist conditions such as showers or changing
These flora are highly contagious and present
symptoms such as: irritated patches of skin between
the toes, which crack and peel. These may appear
soggy and smell unpleasant and hence, the reference
to the foot of an athlete. Discoloured nails and or
scaling and itching skin are common symptoms.
Good foot hygiene improves skin texture and many
In the event of an identified fungi or yeast then
prescribed medicines are usually very effective.
Tell me why my feet hurt after
standing on them all day?
The amount of energy required to
stand still is greater than walking and
running. People compromised by a
lack of circulation moving through the
lower extremity coupled by gravity,
drawing body fluids downwards causes
the ankles to swell. By the end of the
day the gathered fluid makes feet
Symptoms vary but many people
complain of burning sensation relieved
only by removing shoes and bathing
and resting their feet.
My feet tend to get very sweaty in
summer, what can I do?
There are more sweat glands per inch of our
feet than anywhere else in the body.
Sweating is perfectly natural and with good
foot hygiene then even the wettest foot will
present few problems.
Increased temperatures around the feet
caused by exercise or environment increases
perspiration flow. Fluid build up in the
presence of certain bacteria often accounts for
Going barefoot or wearing open-toed shoes
or sports thongs encourages sweat
Evaporation and regular bathing in salt water
removes of sweat breakdown and smelly feet.
Avoid covered footwear and regular use of good
antiperspirants also help.
How can I get rid of hard skin?
Man-made fibres dry out the surface of the skin
and when general friction increases local
temperatures skin cell production is increased.
Old dry cells become dry and are slow to
separate from the new cell beneath.
How we walk dictates callus patterns and
depending on the type of stress over the area
determined its appearance e.g. cracked skin on
Using a pumice stone to gently remove the
hard skin is often made easier after a warm foot
bath (46C0) for no more than 10 minutes.
Skin cells respond instantly to moisturising
creams .Complicated hard skin types may
respond better to prescribed medication.
Why do women suffer more foot
problems than men?
More women visit the podiatrists‘
surgery but that does not preclude men
from having as many foot problems as
their gender counterpart. They just do
not go to their podiatrist.
Many misguidedly blame the
apparent sex difference on
inappropriate footwear but there is little
scientific evidence to support this
Epidemiological studies have shown that
over the age of eighty, more men are
likely to need podiatric care.
Are shoes the source of most foot
The simple answer is no and provided the shoe
fits comfortably and is appropriate to the activity
it is put to then foot and shoe should be
completely compatible. Not everyone complies.
In studies women are more likely to wear shoes
smaller than the physical dimension of their
Feet and a neat fit does feel more comfortable.
Differences in nerve proprioception between
genders is thought to be a significant reason
why women prefer tighter fitting shoes.
What is a foot orthotic?
Allopathic medicine is
based on the concept
there is an ideal model of
normality. Deviation from
the norm may be corrected
by replacing the missing
piece. Corrective foot
orthoses consist of foot
platforms with balanced
wedges made from different
materials to effect different