Today we welcome Laura Devlin to our Podiatrist Spotlight. Laura is Lead Podiatrist in Biomechanics at StEPS Podiatry, Portland Street, Troon, Scotland.

 

What attracted you to a career in podiatry?

I suppose it’s because it covers so many aspects of the human body. Podiatry considers everything from your basic movements to systemic health discrepancies, such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. When you’re working with feet, you’re not just considering the lower limbs, you are also considering the entire body because general health disorders can also affect your legs and feet. As such, I’ve found that a career in podiatry is quite diverse. The field targets all ages of the population, all demographics… there’s so much involved!

 

How did your career develop?

Well like most podiatrists, once you graduate from university you then decide whether to go down the NHS pathway or the private pathway. I began my career in the NHS, gaining exposure to quite a diverse range of patient caseloads from those deemed as high-risk to routine. While working at in the NHS, I realised that my preferred field was biomechanics, which considers the movement of the human body. From there I went into private practice and years later here I am!

 

What are the most common foot problems you see?

Often it depends on demographics and the time of year. We tend to see a lot of verrucas, skin problems, such as athletes foot, and corns in the summer. This is usually down to the footwear people wear and lifestyle at that time. In winter, we see a lot of patients with muscular pain, pressure point pains and ankle sprains, which is usually due to people taking up a new sport for their new year’s resolution. Across the board, regardless of age and health status, I would say nail issues are very common, such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails and separation of the nail plate from the nail bed.

 

What’s your number one tip on how to look after your feet?

Probably just to look at them daily. Have a quick look over them every morning, when you come out of the shower. Always dry in between your toes and whilst doing this make sure there isn’t anything which has developed. Look at the skin, the skin colour, shape and size and put cream on them to keep them hydrated. Moisturising your feet keeps the skin healthy. The skin is protective barrier which stops any infection getting in. If you have dry skin that barrier is then weakened and that’s when you start to get problems.

 

Thank you to Laura for taking part in our Podiatry Spotlight. To book an appointment at StEPS Podiatry, please contact 01292 737350.

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