Diabetes, Implications for Pedicurists

13 April, 2017

As we know, today’s client is changing. We are seeing more clients who are over 65, who are living with chronic illness and – more diabetics. In 2015, there were 415 million diabetics worldwide and, by 2040, the number is estimated to rise to 642 Million.


What is diabetes and how does it affect us as pedicurists?

There are three types of diabetes, but it is mainly people with Type 2 who come to us for pedicures. 

Most people think of diabetes as just being a disease of the metabolic system, but it also affects three other systems in the body: the circulatory, nervous and immune systems.


How does diabetes affect the feet?

The two body systems affected by diabetes that have the greatest impact on the feet are the circulatory system and the nervous system.

Circulatory system: There is frequently poor circulation in the feet of diabetics as evidenced by complaints of chronically cold feet. We can also see changes in the skin, such as excessive dryness, pale colour and the prominence of superficial blood vessels, capillaries.

Nervous system: Diabetic neuropathy is becoming a well-known term among diabetics, pedicurists and also the population at large. Diabetics frequently experience numbness, tingling and even burning sensations. It is the loss of feeling and sensitivity to temperature, which have the greatest implications for us.

What changes do we see on the skin of the lower leg and foot in the diabetic? 

  • Dry, scaly skin with little or no hair growth
  • Thin, shiny, parchment-like skin on the leg, especially along the shin bone
  • Changes in colour, often looking mottled purplish or brown in appearance
  • Build-up of excess dry, dead skin around the nail fold
  • Higher than normal amount of callus formation
  • High susceptibility to infection on the skin and nails, such as tinea pedis and onychomycosis

What are the implications when pedicuring a diabetic client using Footlogix products? 

1. Footlogix Client Consultation 

  • Before starting the pedicure, look at the feet and record your observations on the Footlogix Pedicure Information Sheet.
  • If there is any evidence of cuts, sores, ulcers of infection on the skin, refer the client to a medical practitioner and do not perform the pedicure until healed.

2. Footlogix Foot Soak

  • Soak the feet of a diabetic client for no more than 3-5 minutes.
  • Do not put the foot back into the water unless using the Footlogix Exfoliating Seaweed Scrub.

3. Footlogix Callus Softener

  • Spray liberally on calluses and allow to soak in for 3-5 minutes
  • Spray across the nails
  • Carefully remove any excess build-up of dry dead skin around the nail fold
  • Don’t push back the cuticles. Instead use a side to side motion using an excavator or fine manual of electric file
  • Be extra gentle when cleaning under the nails
  • Use the Footlogix Stainless Steel Pedicure File to reduce calluses on the heels and balls of the feet. These specially designed files will not shred the skin or harm healthy skin
  • Spray over the entire foot to remove any dust after completing nail and callus work, then wipe the foot with a towel. This will give added moisture to the skin as well as remove any ‘dust’

4. Footlogix DD Cream Mousse with Dermal Infusion Technology

  • Apply to the foot before the massage
  • This product is ideal for daily use by diabetics

5.  Footlogix Massage Formula with Dermal Infusion Technology 

  • Finish the pedicure with a gentle foot and leg massage using this non-occlusive massage formula
  • Use gentle effleurage on the legs with no deep tissue pressure on either or legs or feet

6. Frequency of Footlogix Pedicures for diabetic clients

  • Diabetic clients should have a pedicure every four weeks
  • Use the Footlogix “Prescription” pad as a reminder of booking their next pedicure as well as for giving directions on the use of home maintenance products

How does diabetes affect the feet?