What is a podiatrist?
When it comes to looking after your health, it’s easy to forget about your feet. But healthy feet are an important part of your overall wellbeing. Foot problems can have a huge impact on your quality of life. If they occur, podiatrists can help.
What does a podiatrist do?
Podiatrists are experts in foot, ankle and lower limb health. They can help to prevent, diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions including:
- ingrown toenails
- heel and arch pain
- skin problems
- balance issues
They can also treat foot problems that arise from underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
Your podiatrist’s recommendations might include specific exercises, the use of custom-made inserts for your shoes, or medications to treat skin conditions.
Some podiatrists specialise in different areas of practice, including sports, children and workplace health.
Where to find a podiatrist
Podiatrists work in private practice or public health clinics, for example in community health services or public hospitals.
To find a podiatrist near you, visit the healthdirect service finder or the Australian Podiatry Association site, or you can talk to your doctor.
Before going to a podiatrist
You don’t usually need a referral from a doctor to see a podiatrist. However, if you have a chronic medical condition, you may be eligible for Medicare to cover some or all podiatry services under your Chronic disease management plan. Ask your doctor for more details.
The cost of seeing a podiatrist varies between practices and for different treatments. It is a good idea to ask about the likely cost when you call to make an appointment. If you have private health insurance, check whether it is covered by your plan.
It’s a good idea to take the shoes you normally wear to your first visit.
It’s also a good idea to have a list of questions to ask, for example:
- what are the best shoes for me to wear?
- what changes can I make to help my foot problem?
Visit the Australian Podiatry Association website to learn more about podiatry and for information on foot health and common foot problems.
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Last reviewed: June 2021