We can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of the health of your feet as you would normally do with your eyes and teeth.

It doesn’t matter if you practice any kind of exercise or if you are sitting most of the time: your feet are the key to a healthier body.

Yet, when it comes to foot care, there might be a wide choice of specialists to look for and you might need a couple more information before booking your appointment. Here’s the difference between a podiatrist and podologist, and why the distinction matters!

What Is A Podologist? And What Is A Podiatrist?

Both of these names come from an ancient Greek root that means ‘“foot’” and both of these figures are trained to take good care of your feet and make sure that you are healthy. 

You might think that these two figures are the same and that in fact, these are just two names for the same practitioner. But despite the same attention to feet that both podologists and podiatrists dedicate, they do different things and have different education. 

In the UK, a podiatrist -or foot care practitioner- is a licensed medical professional that earned a relevant degree in the field and is registered with the Health and Professions Council. 

They can assess, diagnose and treat any issue related to your feet health in different ways, from helping you in grooming or suggesting new shoes to treat your calluses.

There’s literally no limit to what a good podiatrist can do for you!

A podologist, on the other hand, is someone that specialises in studying your feet and lower limbs’ health but isn’t licensed to perform any kind of treatment on you nor to make a diagnosis.

It’s worth mentioning that podologists are not licensed professionals and, apart from knowing plenty of things about anatomy and physiology, can’t really help you if you have painful foot conditions that are holding you back from dancing all night or performing daily tasks.

What Does A Podiatrist Do?

The expertise of a podiatrist differs from the limited services provided by a podologist, which mainly involve superficial treatments like pedicures and drug-free foot baths.

Due to their specialised training and competence, only podiatrists are qualified to perform medical interventions.


Initially trained to address three categories of plantar disorders, podiatrists focus on musculoskeletal pain, dermatological disorders, and toenail problems.

Podiatrists handle musculoskeletal issues such as: plantar fasciitis, heel bursitis, foot bunions (hallux valgus), hammertoes or claw toes, achilles tendonitis, knee osteoarthritis, and patellofemoral syndrome.

They also treat dermatological disorders, including plantar warts, corns and calluses, Athlete’s foot, heel cracks and other plantar fissures, and diabetic foot lesions.

Furthermore, podiatrists address toenail-related problems like nail fungus (onychomycosis), ingrown toenails, and traumatic nail conditions.

Foot Care From A Podologist

A podologist specialises in providing external foot care services instead of performing medical procedures. For instance, they can offer pedicure services, such as trimming and maintaining toenails. However, when it comes to severe foot injuries or infections, the podologist’s ability to intervene is limited compared to a podiatrist.

In addition to the cosmetic treatments typically carried out by podologists, podiatrists have a wide range of treatments at their disposal. For instance, they can perform surgical removal of calluses and corns, prescribe creams and ointments, medically trim painful or misshapen nails, remove plantar warts, and apply therapeutic tape.

If foot care treatments do not provide relief, the podiatrist may recommend further tests to support their diagnosis. These tests may include a biomechanical examination, digital x-rays, and 2D/3D scanning, among other tools that enable the podiatrist to analyse the characteristics of your feet.

Who’s Better?

None is better than the other. But podologists, despite having an extensive knowledge of feet, can’t address any of your issues.

If you have any concerns about your feet, have any chronic conditions or simply want a routine check, a podiatrist is the specialist you need to see.

There’s no problem to trivial for a foot health practitioner, so don’t be embarrassed to call about your smelly feet.

Book Your Appointment…

Show your feet some love and make your appointment with one of our podiatrists today. Give us a call at 01606 45077 or book an appointment to come and see us at our clinic in Northwich.

Categories: Podiatry