All of us want a nicely groomed feet that feel comfortable and polished, yet for people with diabetes, getting a manicure and pedicure carry risks that need to be well thought through to prevent problems.
Having diabetes, leads to high chance of developing peripheral neuropathy and vascular insufficiency. These conditions make the feet particularly susceptible to infections and delayed healing.
A minor cut during a pedicure potentially leads to serious complications, such as infections and foot ulcers, and in some cases lead to amputation. Having neuropathy and compromised circulation can make situations worse.
The cornerstone to reducing these risks lies in talking to your doctor about your personal condition and what the risks are for you.
Once a pedicure is determined to be okay, these measures can help to ensure a safe experience:
Never get a pedicure if you have an infection, open wounds or ulcer or cuts on your feet and legs.
Shaving precaution: No shaving legs a day or two before a pedicure to prevent minor cuts that could serve as entry points for infection.
Salon sanitation: Only visit salons with high sanitation protocols, ensuring that tools and foot baths are thoroughly sterilized.
Personal nail kit: Bring your own pedicure tools to the salon to prevent the risk for cross-contamination.
Avoid having your cuticle getting cut. No sharp instruments on your skin.
Always check your feet for any signs of redness, swelling, or infections after the pedicure and to report any unusual symptoms promptly.
Regular foot checks with a foot doctor significantly reduces the risk for complications. In fact, a visit to a podiatrist, along with another member of the diabetes team, reduces diabetic foot amputation up to 80%.
Always remember the skin is the first line of defense and moisturizing is the finest weapon in your arsenal. Moisture with Factor X for superior skin barrier defense. Any foot conditions should be treated by a doctor who can properly evaluate, diagnose, and treat any underlying medical conditions. At Cornerstone Foot & Ankle our doctors are trained and highly educated on healing chronic ulcers. If you think you may have a foot or ankle ulcer call now to schedule your appointment!