What is the difference between a Podiatrist and Chiropodist?

There is no difference between the two titles they are interchangeable and both protected by law.  The term Chiropodist has traditionally been used in the UK whilst Podiatrist is recognised and used more internationally.  The term Foot Health Practitioner is not a protected title by law and is not regulated by the Health Professions Council.

 What letters or qualifications should I look for when I want to find a private chiropodist or podiatrist?

Only the titles Podiatrist and Chiropodist are protected by law. Other foot related titles are unregulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Attending an HCPC registered chiropodist or podiatrist helps ensure safety and proficiency. To verify that a practitioner is registered with the HCPC you can access the HCPC register online at www.hcp-uk.org or Telephone 020 7582 0866.

The phrases and letters you should now look for are (there may be one or more after their name):

Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

M.Ch.S. Member of The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

F.Ch.S. Fellow of The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

FCPods Fellow of The College of Podiatrists of The Society of Chiropodists & Podatrists.

What is a verrucae?

Verrucae are viral warts and are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  They are contagious and precaution should be taken when sharing bathrooms or swimming pools.  Treatments can often be painful and most verrucae will go away on their own without treatment within 18 months.  Cryotherapy is an effective treatment however it is painful and not normally suitable for children.  No verrucae treatment is 100% effective. 

Why do nails thicken?

Nails can thicken through damage or fungal infections.  Often damage is caused by repetitive trauma i.e. shoes knocking against the nail, or one off trauma such as something falling on your feet.  Fungal infections enter the different layers of the nail and this causes it to thicken.  Treatment for fungal nails can take up to 6 months of constant treatment and can prove expensive if purchasing over the counter medicaments.  Anecdotally many patients have remarked that using Vick Vapour rub has resolved their fungal nail infection.

Only the titles Podiatrist and Chiropodist are protected by law. Other foot related titles are unregulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).