What exactly is a Dia-Pedi™?? What makes it so special?? This term does NOT indicate any type of medical service or procedure. It is just a term to describe the type of pedicure service and the type of client it serves. Dia-Pedi™ service is for the diabetic as well as clients with compromised immune systems, vascular disease, or nerve damage.
Diabetics have different needs than a regular pedicure client due to the complications that Diabetes can bring about. But just because someone is diabetic doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to safely enjoy some of the finer things in life……like manicures and pedicures. In order to enjoy these wonderful relaxing services, however, there are a few things that the nail professional needs to be aware of, and a few precautions that need to be taken. A Dia-Pedi™ takes all of these special needs into consideration.
Diabetes can lead to various other medical conditions such as: thinning of the skin, peripheral neuropathy, blood clots (which means taking blood thinners), poor circulation leading to longer healing times (particularly on the feet), and susceptibility to infection, to name a few.
DISCLAIMER: Before we go any further I just want to add this quick disclaimer. I am not a medical doctor. Therefore, I do not diagnose, treat, cure, or prescribe medications. I will, however, make my clients aware if I see anything suspicious during the service that they need to bring to the attention of their qualified medical professional. This is a salon service that just takes extreme precautions to ensure the safety of clients. I will also not hesitate to decline to provide services if necessary.
A Dia-Pedi™ will address these issues by the following:
- Pre-Service Consultation – by asking many additional questions before a service is performed, the proper products and steps to be used (or omitted) during the service can then be determined. This Pre-Service Consult is provided for EVERY first-time pedicure client and then every 3-6 months thereafter in case of changes in a client’s health. With diabetics, this pre-service consult is especially important. It provides a visual to the nail specialist as to whether it is safe to proceed with the service or not. If there are any nicks or cuts, ingrown toenails, or any type of wounds on the feet a nail specialist may choose NOT to provide service and to refer the client to his/her physician instead.
- Type I or Insulin Dependent – A client who falls into this category will be first referred to their podiatrist for an evaluation. ONLY if the physician agrees, and provides written instruction, will service proceed.
- No Scrubs – due to the thinning of the skin a diabetic is more prone to skin tears. The use of scrubs could be a potential problem since many times they are just too abrasive and even the mildest of scrubs can lead to minute skin tears that could cause infections and other problems.
- Lower Water Temps – neuropathy can result in a couple of different problems….the feet will be hypersensitive so water temps that are too hot would be uncomfortable and painful…OR, the feet will have a loss of feeling altogether making it difficult for the client to be able to tell if the water is too hot. By using lower water temps (luke-warm) boh of these issues are addressed.
- No Hot Towels – For the same reasons mentioned above with the Lower Water Temps, we also do not apply hot towels with our diabetic clients.
- No nipping/cutting of skin tissue – Two reasons for no nipping….First, since there may be poor circulation in the feet if the skin is nipped too deep it creates the perfect entry into the client’s system for infection to set in. Second, if blood thinners are taken the tiniest little nick can cause bleeding. The obvious exception to this would be if there is something flapping in the wind (such as a hangnail).
NO CREDO BLADES and NO CHEESE GRATER-TYPE implements are ever used!!! Not only are these implements banned in the salon, but they are also dangerous when used improperly and should only be used by a trained and qualified health care practitioner.
- Foot Files – Very little use of a foot file, if any at all. There may be times that a foot file must be used in order to SMOOTH (not remove) rough edges of calluses. However, special attention and care must be used if a foot file is utilized during a service. Thinning skin, susceptibility to infections, possible use of blood thinners all pose as risks if a foot file is utilized so extra care and attention must be used.
- Massage – No deep massage of the feet and legs. Due to the possibility of blood clots, this step has been eliminated from the Dia-Pedi™ service. Massaging runs the risk of throwing (dislodging) blood clots that may be present – either known or unknown – causing further complications for the client. In addition, due to the possible thinning of the skin over-manipulation can also cause skin tears. We do, however, apply lotion lightly and gently for moisturizing the skin.
- Single-Use Implements – Not all of the implements are single-use. Metal implements are sanitized AND disinfected after every use. However, items such as files, buffers, pedicure bath liners, etc. are all single-use and are thrown away after each client. A foot bath that uses plastic liners is used so that each client puts their feet into a basin that has never been used before. These steps help to ensure that infections (including fungal infections) are not passed from one client to another. No jets to harm the delicate skin tissue. No jets to arbor bacteria.
We do not use an autoclave at this time. Autoclaves are a nice addition to a salon. BUT, being that the environment itself is not sterile this does not add any more protection than properly sanitized and disinfected implements do.
- Personal Implement Kit Option – ALL clients have the option of purchasing a kit of metal implements that would only be used on them with each of their visits. But I highly encourage my diabetic clients to use this option. It’s just one additional step to ensuring a safe service.
The cost of this kit is only $15and includes nippers, cuticle pusher, and toenail clippers. Every implement is still sanitized and disinfected after each use. The difference is that rather than being used on another client they are stored in a clean, dry, closed container and used ONLY on the client who purchased it. It is stored in the Treatment Room ready for the client’s next appointment.
- Last but not least, is the extra set of eyes for the client’s doc – During every Dia-Pedi™ (and other pedis) careful inspection fo the feet takes place. Insurances only cover so may visits to a podiatrist or physician for foot care/maintenance. It is not only cost-effective for a diabetic to come in for a pedicure, but it also serves as an additional set of eyes for the client’s physician. A Dia-Pedi™ provides the client with a way to keep an eye on the health of their feet. Many times serious issues can be avoided with regular pedi visits since the feet would be regularly inspected for any suspect changes. Everything is documented during each visit. Anything out of the ordinary, or changes from the last visit, are reported to the client and they are referred to their physician. I do not diagnose or treat as that is left up the qualified health care professional. Anything suspicious is noted and referred to a physician.
I will be adding Dia-Pedi™ service options to the service menu in the Vagaro scheduling system shortly. In the meantime, feel free to book your appointment and send me a message that you are diabetic so that I will have everything ready for your service. And you will want to arrive a few minutes early so that we can do the initial consultation prior to beginning your service.
I hope you have found this information to be helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.
Here is a link to an article that was written for one of the industry’s trade publications. It has a lot of very good information in it that goes beyond this blog post. https://www.nailsmag.com/392188/a-pedicurists-education-in-diabetes