Diabetes Awareness Month: Optimal Care for Diabetic Feet

16 November 2017


November marks the beginning of Diabetes Awareness Month and foot maintenance is one of the primary concerns for those with diabetes. That’s why, this month, we’re shining a spotlight on pedicures specifically designed with the health of your feet in mind.

Whether you are a client or a technician, we want to give you the information you need to receive the right service or, to have the knowledge to give your diabetic clients the correct pedicure service.

What are some of the important things you need to know about foot health for those with diabetes? Here are the essential elements you need to receive or provide – pedicuring for diabetic feet…

The Effect of Diabetes on Your Feet

Diabetes affects many systems in the body, but the two that have the greatest impact on the feet are the circulatory and nervous systems. Poor circulation affects the skin on the feet and legs making it drier than usual and also more prone to infection. In the worst-case scenario, ulceration. Diabetics also frequently experience cold feet.

Diabetic neuropathy is becoming a well-known term among diabetics, pedicurists, and the population at large. Diabetics frequently experience numbness, tingling and even burning sensation in their feet and lower limbs. It is the loss of feeling and sensitivity to temperature which have the greatest implications.

Due to this loss in sensitivity and feeling, the health of the feet becomes even more important (because they’re more vulnerable). A particular cause for concern surrounds the skin and how much weaker the skin becomes when it doesn’t have the proper circulatory support. This is the foundation for many issues – the same issues that with the proper support, can be addressed with the right pedicure treatment.

Common Foot Conditions for Diabetics

Some of the key warning signs often associated with diabetes and foot health involve some pretty noticeable symptoms – ones that can worsen over time, and might not even be recognizable at first glance. They are as follows:

  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Changes in skin color (such as turning purple or brown)
  • Buildup of dead skin around the nail folds
  • More prone to callus buildup on pressure points
  • Parchment paper type skin
  • Minor infections in the area of the foot

Given the fact that diabetic feet are more susceptible to damage, due to the complex nature of circulatory issues, taking care of them becomes non-negotiable. Not only does it help with general well-being, but it acts as protection from other problematic skin issues.

Pedicuring the Diabetic Client

  1. Footlogix Client Consultation – Before the pedicure begins, the feet are observed and notes are made on the Footlogix Pedicure Information Form. If there is any evidence of cuts, sores, ulcers or infections, clients should be referred to a medical practitioner.
  2. Footlogix Foot Soak – This pH balanced formula gently cleanses, hydrates, softens and prepares the skin for a pedicure. For diabetics, the feet are typically soaked for no more than 3-5 minutes.
  3. Footlogix Callus Softener – Where calluses are present on diabetic feet, spray liberally and allow the formula to soak in for three to five minutes. The Callus Softener should also be sprayed across the nails, to remove the buildup of dry, dead skin around the nail fold. It’s important that extra care is exercised during this step and the technician should be very gentle when cleaning under the toenails. Use the Footlogix Stainless Steel Pedicure File, in order to reduce calluses on the heels and balls of the feet. Lastly, spray the Callus Softener over the entire foot to remove any debris after completing nail and callus work. This will give added moisture to the skin, as the callus softener doesn’t need to be washed off and continues to be effective after the service.
  4. Footlogix DD Cream Mousse with Dermal Infusion Technology® – This super hydrating, yet lightweight mousse locks moisture into the skin. It contains effective anti-microbial agents that combat dry, unsightly, flaking and rough skin, making the DD Cream Mousse ideal for diabetics, as well as people with atopic dermatitis and sensitive skin. This formula has anti-aging and cellular regenerative properties, making it perfect for night time care.
  5. Footlogix Massage Formula – The pedicure is then completed with a gentle foot and leg massage. Two to three pumps per foot and leg will allow enough slip for a five to ten minute massage. Footlogix products are non-occlusive and do not seal off the natural functions of the skin. This is of high importance to diabetics.
  6. Frequency of Footlogix Pedicures for Diabetic Clients – A pedicure should be performed every four weeks. You will receive a Footlogix At-Home Care pad as a reminder for booking your next pedicure.

Is this a method that sounds like it would work for you? Start by finding a retailer who uses Footlogix products, and can help give your feet the attention they deserve.

Daily Routine Care for Diabetic Feet

As a diabetic, to safeguard the health of your feet, here are some tips that can work for you:

  • Check your feet every day. Inspect the top, sides, soles, heels, and between the toes.
  • Wash your feet every day with lukewarm water and mild cleansers and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes, as this is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria or fungi.
  • Test the temperature of the water before immersing your feet, because the normal ability to sense hot temperature is often impaired in diabetics. Burns can easily occur.
  • Apply a moisturizer after bathing the feet. Because of skin changes associated with diabetes, the feet may become very dry and may crack, potentially causing an infection.
  • Before trimming nails, soak your feet in lukewarm water to soften the nails. Do not cut nails down close to the hyponychium or around the nail fold.
  • Do not push back cuticles, with sharp implements. Only use soft file.
  • Exercise daily to promote good circulation. Avoid sitting with legs crossed or standing in one position for prolonged periods of time, as this affects circulation.
  • Stop smoking. It decreases blood flow to the feet.

Pedicures for diabetics are not only safe, but they can help to maintain healthy feet. Footlogix products are an important part of keeping diabetics feet happy and healthy.