Foot Care for Diabetics - the 3Ms
For your diabetic clients, foot care is a very important year-round activity with serious health benefits. You’re aware that diabetics have to take particular care of their feet – why is this and what can you do, as a therapist, to help?
Peripheral neuropathy and diabetes Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to the peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves don’t sound important – it sounds like they are on the periphery – but in fact the term refers to all nerves found outside the brain and spinal cord. They are far from peripheral! Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves that can result in problems in the legs and feet. How does it affect your clients?
• Decreased sensation The damage caused to the nerves results in decreased sensation in the nerves of the legs and feet, making it difficult to perceive injuries due to lack of feeling. Of course lack of feeling means you are more susceptible to injuries and infections in the feet as you have lost your pain 'alarm' system.
• Tingling, pain or burning Peripheral neuropathy also causes tingling, pain or burning in the involved areas.
• Pale feet and dry skin As diabetes affects the circulation in the body, the feet may look pale and white rather than a nice pink colour. Neuropathy may have affected the glands that produce oils in the feet making skin flaky and dry.
• Ulcers People with diabetes have an increased risk of ulcers because of poor circulation due to the narrowing of blood vessels. Because of lack of sensation, ulcers can form, worsen or become infected without the patient knowing.
What are the 3 Ms?:
MASSAGE Moderate massage is indicated to stimulate circulation in the feet and legs. It also has the effect of kick-starting the lymphatic system, which could help reduce oedema.
MONITOR Look for cuts, blisters, redness, bleeding, infections, calluses or ulcers. If you see any of these things, encourage your client to see a doctor or podiatrist immediately.
MANAGE Self-care between massage treatments will really help your diabetic client. Massage with an oil or cream containing arnica will aid circulation. The very act of massage requires a close look at the feet, including the toes and nails so that any issues such as ulcers, bunions or ingrown toenails that may go unnoticed due to loss of sensation are spotted and may be quickly treated.
How Pure Pro's Peppermint Pedango Foot Cream can help your diabetic clients:
The Arnica Extract in Pedango is particularly beneficial to diabetics because it flushes out lactic acid, increasing circulation and lymphatic action, easing oedema. Peppermint cools the feet, easing the discomfort of tingling or burning sensations. Pedango’s nourishing coconut and apricot oils hydrate dry skin, while antiseptic organic tea tree staves off infection. Good to know all these reasons why you should use Pedango for your diabetic clients' foot care?
Between treatments it is important to encourage your clients to massage their own feet, if at all possible. Our 113ml is an ideal size for this important home self-care activity. It can also be an added income stream for your business as you can re-sell this size to your clients.
While Peppermint Pedango Foot Cream is a treat for diabetic feet, it is also an essential aid for diabetics who require on-going care for their feet. I’ve just got some fresh supplies in all sizes so go ahead and order for next day delivery. The 840ml salon size is particularly good value for therapists.