Having had a plethora of foot problems, most of which started with a simple swelling, I have a standing order at the xray department at Kaiser. I can go in whenever I have a problem, they'll take the xray, the podiatrist will check it and if necessary will make an appointment for me. I have excellent circulation in my feet, but severe neuropathy. I've had two infections that started at the bone and worked their way out. The xray will show osteomyelitis so time won't be wasted. I would personally go directly to the podiatrist, seeing a GP the first time I had a problem was a waste of time. Five days later I insisted on seeing a podiatrist and he put me right into the hospital and cut off the toe. Oh yay. Don't mess with your feet.