November is National Diabetes Month, which aims to bring awareness to the more than 30 million people in the United States currently living with diabetes.
Nail professionals hold unique responsibilities when it comes to the care of diabetic clients, including instructing proper home care and recognizing signs of a client’s deteriorating health. This November, educate yourself, fellow nail techs and clients on proper diabetic foot care.
Symptoms To Look For
When providing a pedicure service, it is vital to look for signs of peripheral neuropathy. According to an article on etlpodiatry.com, peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves that travel to the body’s extremities, usually beginning in the feet. This is due to consistently high or low blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include changes in foot shape, dryness and cracked skin, increased sensitivity to touch, loss of balance, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, and pain or discomfort, including sharp or sudden pain.
At-Home Care Tips
It is imperative to emphasize the importance of proper at-home foot care to diabetic clients during their appointments.
According to an article on complexions.com, instruct clients to use mild soaps and nonocclusive creams on their feet and between their toes. When their feet get wet, the skin should be patted dry until thoroughly dry. Also, encourage clients to regularly check their feet for dryness, cracked skin, blisters, cuts, scratches, redness or sores.
Additional tips for trimming toenails include:
- Trim toenails after bathing when they are soft.
- Trim toenails straight across and smooth with a nail file.
- Avoid cutting into the corners of toes.
- Do not cut cuticles.
- Visit a podiatrist or trained professional to trim toenails.
On Nov. 14, 2021, celebrate World Diabetes Day by participating in the #NailingDiabetes challenge. Organized by Diabetes UK, the social media challenge encourages people to paint their nails blue to raise diabetes awareness.
How To Participate
- Select your favorite blue polish (the organization even has its own!).
- Paint nails as creatively as you would like.
- Share photos on social media with the hashtag #NailingDiabetes.
- Donate to the organization.
- Invite your friends and family to join you.