Routine Diabetic Foot Care

Yesterday I had the most awesome experience that I’ve had in a very long time. Linda and I had the opportunity to meet in person with our medical nail technologist, Jeannie, who came in from out of town to attend our church picnic. She brought along her traveling podiatry care kit and offered to “take care of ” Linda and me right there in the park!

We knew about this in advance so we were careful to wash our feet before coming and remembered to not shave our legs! That’s something important to remember even if you get a regular spa pedicure in a salon because of the risk of infection. Unlike a spa pedicure, diabetic foot care is completely waterless.

Jeannie started by sanitizing our toes with hand sanitizer and 91% alcohol and moisturizing with a soft oxygenated skin cream, part of her new foot care line. Rather than clipping or pushing back the cuticles, she softened the cuticles with a proprietary serum that she has developed for use in her practice but is not yet ready for commercial sale. She examined our feet and, for both us, determined that we had toenail fungus, a pretty common occurrence and often goes undetected because there are no physical symptoms. She was able to clean out the fungus using a sterile plastic tool, and then she clipped and shaped the toenails properly. She was able to flatten out toenails that were becoming curled and improve the appearance of ingrown toenails.

She used a series of ceramic burrs used commonly in podiatry to remove old polish and to smooth out ridges on the nails. You will never see these specialized tools in a beauty salon! She never uses files, pumice stones, or anything metal to cut or scrape any parts of the feet. She used podiatric burrs to smooth out the soles and heels. Her touch was extremely gentle and remarkably precise. I was astounded at her artistry and accuracy as she worked.

Because she knows I am diabetic, she asked routine questions as she does with all diabetic patients. Do I ever have any pain in my feet and, if so, where? Do I ever experience any numbness or tingling? She strongly urges all diabetic patients to keep their blood sugar controlled! At the end, she moisturized the entire foot, top and bottom, but never allowing the moisturizer to get between the toes. The end result was a most remarkable feeling of having clean, healthy feet. Like the feeling after you’ve been to a dentist for a teeth cleaning but without any pain whatsoever!

She left us with these instructions: (1) Wash and examine your feet daily, best done at night, and moisturize tops and bottoms of feet but not in between toes. We brought home a jar of OzoSoft for this purpose. (2) To help control toenail fungus, use an apple cider vinegar “bath” three or four times a week. Put 1 gallon of room temperature water in a basin, add 2 cups of undiluted apple cider vinegar, and soak your toes for 10 minutes (if diabetic) or 30 minutes (if not diabetic). Dry your feet carefully and moisturize. She added that this is only effective if nails are first reduced or stripped professionally. (3) Never use commercial nail polish again! Nails are porous and polish promotes toenail infections.

Fortunately for Linda and me, Jeannie’s office is within a morning’s driving distance from where we live. Unfortunately for the rest of you, Advanced Medical Nail Technology is a brand new field—like nurse practitioners and physician assistants were at one time—and not many exist in other parts of the country. I asked Jeannie what to tell those of you who have no choice but to go to a traditional pedicure salon what the best choice would be. She said to go to a cosmetology school and ask for a senior student, because they are the most up-to-date in pedicuring techniques, they will do what you ask (like no clipping of flesh and no use of pumice stones), and they are the most invested in their budding career!

Although I have a 16-oz. bottle of brand name organic apple cider vinegar in my refrigerator to use in my salad dressings, I did a quick Google search and found that I could get a gallon of house brand apple cider vinegar at Walmart ($4.00 in our area). So I’m going to get a jug when we go shopping tomorrow and start using it tomorrow night. Maybe I can get my toenail fungus under control by the time we see Jeannie for a follow-up appointment in five weeks!

apple cider vinegar

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