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General Discussion

I Am A Podiatrist In Singapore, AMA!

Posted by

Lynn Toh profile picture
Lynn Toh
VIP 155 days ago


Hello DxD community! I’m Lynn Toh. I’ll be replying to all your comments on Tuesday, 30 October 2018.

Background: I am a podiatrist in Singapore. A lot of people think that we're only trained to fix calluses, ingrown toe nails, or give simple advice on footwear. However, that's untrue! Podiatry school is not only the study of the foot. We have to study the entire human body, with an emphasis on the lower extremity.

Did you know that more often than not, the foot is the first place that shows signs of serious conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes?

Through this AMA, I hope to clear up the misconceptions about podiatry!

Leave a comment below asking me anything about being a podiatrist in Singapore, e.g.:

  1. What training is required to be a podiatrist in Singapore
  2. What conditions does a podiatrist treat
  3. The nastiest foot condition I've ever came across
  4. The strangest request that I've got from a patient
  5. How to select the best type of footwear for your feet 
  6. Why ingrown toenails cannot always be treated at home
  7. What are the danger signs that we should look out for in our foot
#Singapore Healthcare #Health & Fitness #Sport Medicine
Comments (59)
Anonymous
146 days ago

Hi everyone, I'm Jeeyan, DxD's content editor. I'll be moderating this AMA. Lynn will be coming on live Monday, 29 October at 3:30 pm to answer all your questions. Feel free to start leaving your questions and comments for Lynn below!


@Lynn, Thanks for taking this AMA session up! Really appreciate it :) My questions for you are:


1. I understand that foot problems can sometimes be the first warning of serious medical conditions. What are some of these danger signs hat we should look out for?

2. I've heard a lot women say that they can walk better in heels as compared to flats, are they lying? Is it true that shoes that are too flat can actually be more harmful than heels?

3. Also, what should a person look for in a shoe or sandal to keep their foot healthy?

Hi Jee Yan!


Thanks for your questions!

1. Yes, our feet can help tell us if we have a medical condition. Healthy feet should have a healthy pink colour, warm to touch and good nail and hair growth! If a foot appears to be a shiny red or purplish/bluish colour, cold to touch, poor nail and hair growth; these are signs that there is not enough blood getting to the foot and may indicate that the person has diabetes and/or peripheral vascular disease (narrowing/blockage of blood vessels in the limbs). 

Another example is, if there is numbness in the feet, this could mean that the person has diabetes or an impingement against a nerve at the spine or along the leg. 

2. It's true that some people would feel more comfortable in shoes with a heel than flats, especially those with tight calf muscles. This helps to accommodate the tight muscles so that you're not straining too much to try to land your heel on the ground. Also, people with heel pain may feel better in a heeled shoe as this shifts the load from the heel to the front of the foot. 

3. Good shoe fitting is very important to ensure the toes are not squeezed together. So, always make sure that the width at the front of the shoe is as wide as your foot and that there is a thumb's width distance from the front of the shoe to your longest toe. I also prefer shoes or sandals that have laces or a strap across the foot so that my foot stays secure in shoe.

Ethan Toh
154 days ago
In your opinion, what is one misconception that people have about Podiatry? Hope u could answer.
Thanks for your question, Ethan!


One common misconception is that people associate Podiatrists to be only toenail cutters! It's true that we cut toenails amongst treating many other toenail and skin conditions. But a main part of what we do is also to treat biomechanical conditions such as flat feet, high arch feet, bunions, heel pain and many others! 

A biomechanical assessment would include checking for joint mobility, muscle tightness, leg length difference, foot posture and analysing the way you walk. Doing these assessments will help us come up with a treatment plan which usually includes taping, insoles and strengthening/stretching exercises.

Hope this answers your question!


Timothy Chan
154 days ago
What is a common cause for ingrown toenails?

How could you prevent it?

Samantha123
154 days ago
Pls ans this!! My son has ingrown toenails
Hi Timothy!


Common causes for ingrown toenails include wearing shoes that are too tight, cutting your toenail down the edges, stubbing your toe against a hard surface or it could just be the shape of your toenails. 

Wearing a wide enough shoe and not cutting your nails too short and down the edges are good steps to prevent an ingrown toenail.

Maybe he should see a Podiatrist to get it properly treated! ;)

Click on the link below to know more about ingrown toenails!

https://physioandsole.com/blog/7-ingrown-toenails-myths-debunked/

Robert Goh
154 days ago
Is a treatment required for flat feet?

Are there any special types of shoes for ppl with flat feet?

Hello Robert!


A lot of people have flat feet. Some have pain, some don't. It is not necessary to treat flat feet if there are no symptoms. However, if there is foot pain relating to flat feet, then treatment will help to alleviate the pain :)

Usually for flat feet, I prefer shoes that have a firm heel counter and a firm midsole to help keep the foot up in a more neutral position. Also, make sure that the shoe is wide fitting as flat feet tends to be wider at the midfoot area where the arch collapses.


kk_soh
142 days ago
how's the pay for a podiatrist like? is it decent? cause my daughter seems to be interested in this career and i want to find out more. what's the carreer progression like for a podiatrist, like how do you 'level up' and earn more?
It's great that your daughter is interested in pursuing Podiatry! We are currently facing a shortage of Podiatrists in Singapore and I doubt that she will have trouble looking for a job when she returns. If I'm not mistaken, a fresh grad's basic pay is >$3000. 


There's good career progression if working at a public institution (from a junior podiatrist to a principal podiatrist). Otherwise, there is also the private sector where you get mostly paid with commissions.



Erlina Chia
142 days ago
Recently I went for a pedicure and my manicurists told me that my nails have an fungal infection and that I should pay more for some solution that will help me get rid of it. How effective are these nail salons in getting rid of a fungal infection? I am skeptical about it... so I didn't top up. What's your advice?
Hi Erlina! Good call!


There are so many off the counter anti fungal products out there. It is important to check what the active ingredient is in the product and whether it is effective enough to help with fungal infection. Most of the products sold at the nail saloons contain ingredients that are usually not so effective. 

This article explains more on fungal toenail and an alternative treatment on how to treat it

https://physioandsole.com/blog/pact-to-the-rescue-of-fungal-nails/

jie sheng
142 days ago
what's the best way to get rid of foot odour? i work in a kitchen and i have to wear safety boots for 8 - 12 hours a day. i try my best to keep my feet clean and dry but it's hard, and it's really smelly when i take them out of my boots at the end of the day. pls help
Hi Jie Sheng, what have you tried? 


I usually advise my patients to use foot powder to help keep the feet dry. You can also try changing your socks frequently throughout the day. And use 100% cotton socks as they are more sweat absorbing. I find toe socks also help. Also make sure that your boots are properly dried out before the next use (you may have to alternate your boots). You can also soak your feet in an astringent solution such as apple cider vinegar diluted with water (1:1). Hope this helps!

shoe_gaholic
142 days ago
when's the best time to buy shoes? i read that morning your feet swells so it might not be accurate? is it afternoon?
It's better to buy shoes when your feet swells! Which is in the evening. If you get shoes in the day when your feet are a little smaller, by the time your feet swells in the evening, it would be too tight!
HiThere
142 days ago
What made you decide to become a podiatrist? What sort of qualifications do you need to become one?
I was inspired by a Podiatrist that I saw when I was 16! I have a family history of bunions and my dad brought the whole family to see a Podiatrist. Back then I had no clue what Podiatry is and I was just amazed at what this Podiatrist was doing and decided to study it! 


Practising Podiatrists in Singapore are required to have a certified degree in Podiatry. I did mine in Melbourne :)

Simon Goh
142 days ago

I read online that running barefoot is actually better for our body and results in fewer injuries. Is this true? What's your take on this? 

I am not for neither against barefoot running. Just keep in mind that the surfaces that we run on now are gravel and cement compared to the old days where it's mostly grass and dirt. The hard surfaces causes high impact forces up our feet thus research shows higher incidences of metatarsal stress fractures associated with barefoot running. Also without protective footwear, the feet may get cut by glass/sharp rocks, introducing infection. There is also a risk of injury if you have always been running shod and suddenly running barefoot as the body is not used to it. 



pottsy
142 days ago
is there a way to prevent blisters when i wear new shoes? 

Try rubbing candle wax over the edges that are causing the blisters.

Before buying a new pair of shoes, ensure that the shoes are a good fit and walk around the shop on a hard surface (not carpet) for at least 10 minutes to make sure you're completely comfortable with the shoes. 

mama_son
142 days ago
how many podiatrists are there in sg?
About 80 ;)
vashikta
142 days ago
do you know how much sweat our feet produce in a day? i am just curious! haha

Good question! I googled and this website says half a pint of moisturise a day! https://www.podiatrists.org/visitors/foothealth/faqs/general

Maybe for us a pint, because we're in Singapore :D

$$$
142 days ago
are treatment sessions with podiatrist expensive...? i am thinking to visiting one but i am afraid of the cost. do u have a rough price range for me to know how much to budget?
I think the charges are fair, especially if the podiatrist can help resolve your foot problem!


For private clinics, initial consult and assessment can cost between $50-150. Whereas at a public clinic, charges are subsidised, therefore consult charges can be between $25-100. I suggest calling different podiatry clinics to ask about costs and decide from there :)

celine
142 days ago
i have very dry cracked heels.. do you have any solutions for me?
My personal favourite would be to apply coconut oil all over the dry areas and wear socks and leave it overnight. If this doesn't work, see a podiatrist! You may need to have the hardened skin removed first for the emollient to work better.
songetteea
142 days ago
what was the most challenging case you came across?
natasha
142 days ago
Hello Lynn! Is it true that we have to 'break in' our shoes? Or is that just rubbish from the salesperson that's just trying to sell us shoes? 
Hahaha hi Natasha! You should feel comfortable with the shoes before you buy them! Go shoe shopping in the evening as the feet tends to swell at night and make sure you walk around the shop for at least 10 mins on a hard surfaced floor so you know you're comfortable with the shoes before buying them.
Dareas Koo
154 days ago
What made you decide to become a Podiatrist?

Did you ever consider getting another job?

I was inspired by a Podiatrist that I saw for my own foot problems!

I cannot imagine doing anything else besides Podiatry :) hmm I've always wanted to work at McDonald's...

Clare Ong
154 days ago
How do you tolerate the smell of the feet especially when the patient has a fungus of some sort? Just curious.
I wear a mask. And also breathe through my mouth ;)
JellyBelly
145 days ago
I'm beginning to think that there is truth in that some kinds of "flats" type footwear is bad for your feet. I bought these ballet flats that seemed so comfy at first, but by the end of the day my feet were hurting and I couldn't understand why! I even purposely got those that has a little cushioned lining on the inside of the shoe.


Why is it not enough to get footwear that feels cushioned inside?

A very cushioned shoe usually has very little support in them. So depending on your foot posture and the way you walk, cushioning shoes may not be enough! Look for something more supportive eg firmer heel, straps or laces across the foot as this helps to keep the feet in a more neutral position.
TallFella
142 days ago
When would a person need to see a podiatrist over say, a sports doctor?
Sareena
142 days ago
Aside from chronic foot pain, what other signs could indicate a problem?


Does leg pain or calluses mean there is an issue?

Max
142 days ago
Hi Lynn, why can't ingrown toenails always be treated at home? Is there anything wrong with using those weird ingrown toenail contraptions that I've seen on Qoo10?
Lim Min
142 days ago
I don't think I could give up heels.. I like them too much. So what are some things to look out for when buying and wearing heels? Are good insoles enough?


Thanks!

Khoo
142 days ago
Is there any health benefit in walking bare foot verses wearing flats or slippers or other shoes? (I mean if it is safe to do so, like at home)
GymJin
142 days ago
Is it true that apple cider vinegar can remove corns and calluses? I haven't tried it but it sounds really weird to me.
WFH
142 days ago
Haha I guess you must see a lot of NS boys trying to chao keng. Any weird stories to share?
xiao ying
142 days ago
what are the most common foot problems you see in singapore? are they bunions? 
avant_garde_www
142 days ago
what's the most disgusting foot condition that you've came across that made you gag?? how did you manage to complete that treatment session?
enna
142 days ago
how to go about looking for a podiatrist if i want to look for one? are they all private practices?
q_six
142 days ago
i think i have corn.. can i cut it away myself?
bee ping
142 days ago
are podiatrists regulated by some board in sg? or they can just set up up practice as long as they graduated?
sammie
142 days ago
what shoes do you wear most often? just want to find our the preferred foot wear option for a podiatrist!
yang yang
142 days ago
are there more male or females podiatrists in singapore?
melissaong12
142 days ago
if you get corn / calluses once does it mean that they will keep recurring? i am worried!
Choo
142 days ago
I have always heard stuff about flat footedness being bad, why do people say that?
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