Corns, calluses, bunions and nail infections – these are the most common problems people in Portugal have with their feet but which are all too often ignored in the early stages, when their effects could be mitigated.
The results are that people go on to develop “serious problems”: a situation the national association of Podology wants to change.
Talking on TSF radio this week, the association’s president Manuel Portela estimated that 85% of Portuguese over the age of 35 have some kind of foot – related problem.
Due to the fact that feet “are covered most of the time”, people don’t give them the kind of attention they deserve.
There is also “a lack of awareness about treatment” and a dearth of information on prevention.
It’s only when people have reached ‘an advanced stage’ in their problem that they seek professional help – by which time it can be too late to make any significant difference.
Thus the association’s national congress taking place in Braga today and tomorrow hopes to come up with ‘new ideas’ on how to get the prevention message over.
Key to these will be pushing for more “podology consultations within the State-run health service” so that there can be more focus on prevention and early diagnosis.