Podiatry – what is it? What exactly does a podiatrist do and where can you get the appropriate qualifications?

Podologia - co to jest? Czym się dokładnie zajmuje podolog i gdzie można zdobyć odpowiednie kwalifikacje?
Podiatry – what is it? What exactly does a podiatrist do and where can you get the appropriate qualifications?Podiatry in our country is quite a broad concept that covers all treatments performed on the feet. In Western European countries it is a completely separate field of medicine that deals with all foot ailments. Podiatry combines diabetology, surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, but also cosmetology. People who want to care for and treat feet should take advantage of training courses organized in the largest cities in Poland. 

What is podiatry?

Podiatry is an extremely developed field all over the world, but nevertheless in Poland it is only just beginning. It concerns all kinds of treatments that are performed on the feet. Podology combines knowledge and skills in several areas, such as diabetology, surgery, dermatology, orthopedics or cosmetology. Such a large range of fields that are directly related to podiatry is due to the fact that it is a field of science that is just developing in our country. It has not yet been defined by law, so almost every procedure that is performed on the feet can be called a podiatry procedure.

Interestingly, in the countries where this profession has been in operation for the longest time (France, Switzerland or Germany), most pedicurists fought to distinguish podiatry as a field of medicine, and they were concerned about the conditions in which foot treatments are performed. Increasingly, treatments involving feet, which were performed by pedicurists, ended with ingrown nails, infections, or in the worst case the need for amputation. The cosmetics industry has begun a fight to separate this medical field, and thus also to create a field of study in which people who intend to be specialists in the field of podology in the near future could learn.

People who suffer from motor problems, disabled people who do not have the ability to take care of their feet independently, people suffering from hyperhidrosis, diabetics and those with athlete’s foot should come to podiatrists. In addition, such a specialist should also be visited by people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Podiatrists also deal with ingrown toenails and make dressings on the feet. Some of the treatments can be counted towards aesthetic medicine.

Cosmetic podiatry

Among the treatments that include podiatry, we can distinguish those that are characteristic of cosmetic medicine. Aesthetic podiatry is a procedure that does not require a surgical operation and is not invasive. Among these treatments, we can distinguish:

      • reconstruction of the nail plate,
      • foot massage,
      • keratinized epidermis removal,
      • elimination of cracking skin on the feet (mainly in the heel area),
      • removal of corns, calluses and corns,
      • professionally performed clipping of toenails

Professional pediatricians, even such easy (if compared with other podiatry procedures) should be performed only after they find that the client does not suffer from diabetes and has generally healthy feet.

It should be emphasized in this case that in our country, as long as podiatry is not a sanctioned medical field, we can talk colloquially about the so-called cosmetic podology, however, in countries where this field has been in operation for many years, there are no separate procedures for surgery or cosmetic procedures – every foot treatment is, of course, a podiatry treatment.

Podology – training

Taking into account the fact that in Poland, podiatry is a field that is still in its infancy, there are no fields of study yet that could educate professionals in this field. People who want to gain knowledge on this subject can take advantage of courses and trainings that are organized in larger cities. Podiatry centers are developing in our country, as are schools that constantly conduct such courses.

During the training, knowledge about foot biomechanics, anatomical structure, awareness of proper foot care or nail structure is gained. After undergoing such training, podiatrists have knowledge of foot diseases, they know how to distinguish a nail plate with mycosis from a completely healthy one. They can also find preparations that are intended to cure selected diseases. The training will also include information on health and safety, disinfection and sterilization, preparation for podiatry, as well as conducting a proper interview with the client / patient. People who approach their own profession responsibly should undergo such training, as the centers that organize such courses generally cooperate with doctors and specialists in the field of foot diseases.