What is podiatry?

Podiatry is a specialist area of healthcare which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders or conditions related to the feet and lower limbs.

A podiatrist is someone who has trained in the discipline and who has gained relevant qualifications. Many people think of a podiatrist as a kind of foot doctor. As well as diagnosing and treating foot and lower limb problems, a podiatrist will often provide advice on how to look after your feet and th best type of shoes to wear for different activities. A podiatrist deals with a wide range of foot problems including:


  • Toenail problems such as thickened, fungal or ingrown toenails
  • Corns and calluses
  • Verrucas
  • Athlete's foot
  • Smelly feet
  • Dry and cracked heels
  • Flat feet
  • Bunions


Some people use the term ‘chiropodist, instead of podiatrist. They mean the same thing, except that podiatrist is considered to be a more modern term. It’s also worth noting that, since2003, only practitioners who have satisfied the criteria for registration with the Health Professions Council can use the title of Podiatrist or Chiropodist. Anyone who uses these without being on the HPC register is committing an offence.