What is podiatry and what does it do?

Aktualizacja odbyła się 20 stycznia 2023

What is podiatry – definition

Podiatry is the study of the lower limbs. It examines all the organs and tissues they are made of.

The science of podiatry covers issues such as:

  • myology – the study of muscles,
  • osteology – the study of the skeletal system,
  • orthopedics,
  • dermatology – the science of skin diseases and its appendages,
  • lymphology – the study of the lymphatic system,
  • neurology – the study of the nervous system
  • angiology – the study of the lymphatic and vascular systems,
  • phlebology – the study of veins.

Podology explores the interrelationships between these branches of science. And all this has one common goal – the proper functioning of the lower limbs.

Who is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a specialist who diagnoses and treats changes in the skin and nails on our feet (sometimes also on the hands). The profession of a podiatrist in our country is not a medical profession, because it is a field of cosmetology Nevertheless, the profession of a podiatrist has been entered in the register of professions only since 2015. It is considered a paramedical profession.

How to get a podiatrist license – studies, podiatry courses

In Poland, there is an extremely important problem with the profession described above, because most podologists call themselves so wrongly. The lack of legal regulations as to the requirements of completed universities, the degree of their completion gives a lot of room for action to all those who are willing to immediately increase the services in their own podiatry offices. Unfortunately, most of the podologists in our country have completed only basic podiatry courses, which lasted only a few or several hours. This is the reason for the growing lack of trust on the part of the patient as to the full professionalism of this profession. A person specialized in podiatry sometimes has to struggle with fears, reluctance after unsuccessful treatments or consultations with random people.

Patients who need help in the field of services provided by a podiatrist should, for the sake of their own safety and those of their relatives, ask and check which person they entrust their health to.

Particular attention should be paid to the fact that incorrect diagnosis, lack of antisepsis and asepsis, improperly performed procedure, failure to recognize or underestimate changes can cause many complications. They can manifest themselves not only on the skin, but also throughout the body. People who complete a podiatry course lasting no longer than a dozen or so days will not have as much knowledge as students graduating from higher education, where knowledge is passed on by experienced lecturers, for at least three consecutive years.

Undoubtedly, in our country, as well as in other countries, podologists can educate themselves at the highest level, while gaining professional knowledge, both theoretical and practical on various levels, by graduating from university. A specialized podiatrist should definitely be constantly educating himself through podiatry congresses, scientific meetings or symposiums. In this profession, updating knowledge is extremely important.

How to recognize a good podiatrist?

A podiatrist who will be aware of his own profession and the responsibility that lies with him, diagnoses and treats patients extremely thoroughly. The specialist will conduct many interviews or consultations to quickly solve skin problems and changes present on the nail plate, after a few years of treatment with other medical specialists. The advantage of the podiatrist profession is its strictly defined scope of activity. A podiatrist treats feet , their skin and appendages. Knowledge about the lower limbs is sometimes greater than in medical professions that deal with the entire human body. A podiatrist specialist is a profession appreciated by various professionals, including nurses and doctors.

Podologist – what he does and who his patients are

The podiatrist is most often visited by diabetics, people suffering from ingrown nails, the elderly, or people with corns and painful corns.

In addition, people with chronic bacterial, viral and fungal infections. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the appearance of horny changes within the nail plates or soles of the feet, because in many cases they are the result of incorrect positioning of the lower limbs, foot loading while walking, as well as other types of problems related to the biochemistry of the lower limbs.

Problems that the podiatrist will deal with

Below are the most common problems that patients usually report to the podiatrist’s office:

    • Problems in the skin of our feet: excessive sweating, fungal infections, viral infections, bacterial infections, cracking heels, calluses (corns, calluses or corns), as well as many others,
    • Problems with the nail plate, such as: fungal infections, bacterial infections, reconstruction of the nail plate, tubular nails, thickened nails, onycholysis – detachment of the nail plate, ingrown toenails, and the like.