We use them all the time, but may not be giving our feet the attention and care they deserve. While these parts of our bodies are extremely sturdy and hardy, there are some warning signs you should not ignore such as numbness or discoloration. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with a foot doctor to ensure you aren’t suffering from any serious conditions.

Pain or Discomfort

Any pain in the ankle, heel or lower leg should be addressed. There are many reasons why you might be experiencing extreme discomfort in your feet. Blisters, which are extremely common, can occur due to improper fitting shoes and prolonged standing times. Extreme pain can also be an indication of broken bones or tendon issues that will need to be addressed.

Discoloration and Skin Irritation

Discoloration or any irritation could point to a number of conditions. Dryness, itching and inflammation are commonly linked to a condition known as athlete’s foot, seen regularly with athletes. Paleness in skin tone could indicate a circulatory problem, and other discoloration could point to gout or infection. Since these are relatively minor conditions, they aren’t worth worrying excessively over, but you’ll definitely need to schedule a visit to the podiatrist.

Numbness

Numbness is most commonly linked with neuropathy, which can be a result of a diabetes diagnosis. If you have diabetes and regularly experience numbness in your feet, you should keep regular appointments with your foot doctor to monitor the condition.

Growths

There are all types of growths that can occur on or underneath the skin. Warts and calluses are common exterior foot problems easily fixed and addressed. There are other growth conditions that can occur beneath the skin like heel spurs which grow beneath the heel bone due to a number of reasons. Obesity, diabetes and poor-fitting shoes can predispose someone to develop a heel spur. If you’re experiencing a large amount of pain in your heel, consult with your foot doctor about a diagnosis and treatments.

Changes in Shape

A ruptured or dysfunctional tendon can actually change the shape of your foot, causing one or both to flatten. This can lead to more serious conditions like arthritis and something called hammertoe. Making sure you wear proper fitting shoes and socks can relieve pressure on tendons. Consult with your podiatrist to determine your condition and if surgery is a good option.

Though most diagnoses given by a podiatrist don’t require surgery and are relatively painless and simple, it’s important to address any issue you’re having with your feet. Ignoring extreme discomfort, a change in shape, or any discoloration could hurt you in the long run. Conditions like gout, broken bones, and heel spurs should be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid any unnecessary discomfort and restore your life to normal. No one likes to live with pain, especially in his or her feet.

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