Description and Characteristics of Chiropody

Chiropody is a little-known treatment to prevent and treat foot abnormalities. Believe it or not, people seldom take their foot conditions seriously as they truly believe these don't have serious consequences.
Description and Characteristics of Chiropody

Last update: 12 April, 2021

The word “chiropody” is still unknown to a large number of people, especially the younger generations. It refers to a foot procedure to treat and repair certain foot problems. Its purpose is mainly holistic, although it definitely improves the appearance of the feet.

Chiropody is a way to keep our feet healthy. It isn’t uncommon for people to pay little attention to their feet, even though these are fundamental for transporting the human body. Isn’t it weird that people don’t consider foot problems important?

Indeed, neglecting one’s feet is a mistake. Currently, podiatrists believe people should visit them at least once a year. This is because keeping the feet in good shape increases your quality of life. Chiropody can do just that.

What’s chiropody?

This is a foot treatment to correct possible alterations in the feet, such as nail problems, calluses, and other anomalies. It also helps prevent the discomfort caused by the use of inappropriate footwear.

The main objective of chiropody is to avoid pain in the feet and to keep small injuries from aggravating to the point of causing serious problems. This procedure also allows the detection of conditions such as foot fungus or the presence of papillomas, among others.

The chiropody procedures include proper nail trimming and the delamination of hyperkeratosis — the removal of hard tissue such as calluses or helomas — and foot moisturization.

A person massaging another's feet.

Chiropody interventions

The most frequent interventions done during a chiropody session are:

  • Therapeutic nail cutting and grinding. Nails often have anomalies in terms of structure, color, and others. Chiropody can correct them by cutting and filing to prevent pain due to inflammation or infection.
  • Treatment of helomas or calluses. Helomas are round, hard lesions that grow inward and are covered with calluses. They’re due to the accumulation of keratin and cause pain when walking. Thus, they make it difficult to wear shoes.
  • Hyperkeratosis delamination. This is due to the thickening of the skin caused by the accumulation of cells in that area. It may include helomas or calluses, and papillomas or warts — benign growths.
  • Treatment of ingrown toenails. Those that penetrate the skin, either by alterations in the origin or by an inadequate form.
  • A moisturizing and relaxing foot massage.

When and why you should get this treatment

Adults are who most often require chiropody, but people of any age can benefit from it. It’s rare for a child to need it. Professionals advise visiting a podiatrist once a year and ask them whether the procedure is necessary or not.

Chiropody has a restorative purpose, but also a preventive one. Thus, your feet don’t have to be falling off to seek a session. In fact, some alterations can go unnoticed and it’s better to treat them early.

Any foot alteration such as corns, calluses, deformed nails or pain, can lead to more serious problems. Also, some systemic diseases such as diabetes require dedicated foot care.

A podologist working on someone's feet.
Chiropody protects two very important parts of our body: your feet.

Things to keep in mind

Some people confuse chiropody with a pedicure, but they’re actually two different procedures. The first is a medical treatment performed by a podiatrist or a specialized professional, while the second is a cosmetic procedure. The latter is only a superficial intervention.

Likewise, medical treatment not only addresses the problems with aesthetic consequences, but also allows the detection of other conditions that could cause major problems, or that alter walking in some way. There are anomalies such as diabetic foot, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and claw toes that only a doctor can detect.

Chiropody is a procedure that usually takes about half an hour. The recovery is quick and its effectiveness almost immediate — about two days. Professionals suggest having one of these procedures per year.

It might interest you...
How to Look After Your Feet During Home Confinement
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
How to Look After Your Feet During Home Confinement

Some people, such as diabetics, children, or the elderly should take special care of their feet during home confinement. Read on to find out more.

  • Morcillo, F. F. (1976). La quiropodia como concepto podológico. Revista española de podología, (53), 19-20.