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Beware of “Dr. Google”

Searching for medical information on the internet is a risky undertaking – you can get some really unsound advice. To be sure, there are reputable sites, including hospital and accredited foundation websites and our own extensive podiatry education library that serves our patients at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center.

There are risks associated with consulting a computer with a question like “Why are my feet burning?” such as –

  • Anxiety  – Reading about symptoms, trying to make sense of them, and figuring out if they apply to you can be more harmful than helpful, causing you unnecessary anxiety. If you find yourself confused about a possible illness, call your primary doctor, or for foot issues like burning feet, board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM to discuss the matter rather than trying to wade through the advice of Dr. Google.
  • Misinformation – Most of the people who post in discussion forums and the like are probably not doctors. They’re not qualified to give you medical advice. Furthermore, whatever experience they’ve had may not correlate at all to yours. When you’re not feeling well, get sound advice from a medical professional.
  • Fake news – Don’t believe that what’s in your bar of soap is going to hurt you just because someone’s spreading that news all over social media. There are rumors and bogus claims lurking all over the internet.
  • For-profit websites – Middle school children are taught to note the source of their internet search results, and it’s a good practice for everyone. Is the website a dot-com? It’s generally selling something and its medical claims may or may not be backed up by science. Look for extensions like .org or .edu for the most credible information.

Trustworthy medical advice can always be obtained at our Fairfax County podiatry practice. Make an appointment with us when you’re concerned about foot or ankle pain, swelling, discoloration, lack of sensation, or anything out of the ordinary. Relief from pain and anxiety can be just a phone call away at (703) 996-3000, or visit our reputable website for an appointment at our office in Centreville, Virginia.

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