When we think of wrinkles, do we ever think about wrinkles on our feet?
Seems strange, yet believe it or not….there is such a thing.
Most causes of wrinkled feet aren’t serious. Many causes are just a normal part of feet life. However, some instances, wrinkled skin on your feet just might be a symptom of a condition that needs medical attention.
- Trench foot
- Excessive sweating
- Dry skin
- Sun exposure
I will be the first to state over and over again….we MUST stay within the limits of our license.
However, I will also be the first to express how important it is to be able to identify what it is we see. The more we are able to identify, the more we are able to confidently either pursue a service or refer to a Medical Professional.
I find, referring to a Medical Professional is one of the most difficult challenges my clients share with me.
The skillful art of writing a proper letter to a possible Medical referral, finding the right Medical Professional In your area and the constant follow up before success are three(3) of the most difficult challenges.
Each in their own right take a whole lot of work, perseverance and persistence.
Let’s take a look at causes of wrinkled feet and what might be the possible underlying complications.
Imagine if you will, you think you are servicing someone with what you consider to be classic wet feet or classic dry feet….only to understand, it could possibly be more.
Firstly, If we are in water for a long period of time, whether it’s a bath tub, shower, hot tub, or pool it is common to get wrinkled feet and also fingers.
Wrinkled feet and fingers caused by long exposure to water is a temporary condition that typically goes away once you’re out of the water and your skin has dried.
Wrinkling will happen when your blood vessels right below your skin begin to shrink. This is a normal nervous system response to being in water for a long time.
Once your blood vessels shrink, your skin starts to collapse over the now-smaller blood vessels. This causes wrinkles.
Also called immersion foot, happens when your feet are wet and cold for a long period of time. It can not only cause wrinkles on your feet, also;
- blotchy skin, redness, discoloration
- skin flaking off
- pain when your skin is warmed up
Trench foot, first witnessed among soldiers in World War I who fought in cold, wet trenches. They had no warm socks or waterproof boots to keep their feet dry. Consequently World War I soldiers developed trench foot from the damp, cold conditions their feet were exposed too.
This condition of Trench foot is treatable, but it’s best to take steps to prevent it. If your feet, socks, or shoes get wet, try to dry them as soon as possible. If they are cold and wet, heat packs applied for a few moments will warm them up.
Also called hyperhidrosis, is a condition where a person will sweat heavily, including in situations not related to heat or exercise.
Hyperhidrosis can be primary or secondary. Primary hyperhidrosis typically has no known causes and is not a sign of an underlying condition. Secondary hyperhidrosis is usually caused by something else, such as:
Either type of hyperhidrosis can cause sweating all over your body (generalized) or in one place (localized). Your feet are one of the most common places for excessive sweating in both types of hyperhidrosis.
Because of the sweat, the dampness can cause your skin to become wrinkled. This is heightened if you wear shoes that don’t allow your feet to breathe.
Mostly dry weather conditions, excessive exposure to hot water or even certain chemicals can cause your skin to become dry, including your skin on your feet. Dry, flaky, skin may also be caused by dehydration or an underlying medical condition.
The lack of moisture can certainly cause your skin to wrinkle. It can also cause cracked skin that may look like wrinkles.
Exposure from the sun can cause damage to any part of your skin, which can lead to:
- sun damage
- premature aging
If you do expose your feet to the sun, (as many of us do) make sure to apply sunscreen to protect your feet from the sun’s damaging rays.
Sun exposure symptoms can be treated, but can rarely be completely reversed.
As you can see, there are many causes of the conditions we as pedicurist see on a typical day in the Salon. However, if you just “do what you do” you may be causing more damage without even knowing it.
Knowing what we are looking at, being able to “identify” what we are looking at and more importantly knowing when to say not and when to refer….is only part of “making your Pedicure your own”.
In addition, the ability to recommend retail products for at home care use is an art in itself. Have you learned how to do this?
For me, I just can not even fathom servicing a client with any of the above concerns and/or everyday coming damaged skin on the feet….and not sharing with them the importance of at home care maintenance.
Everyone who works their magic on clients in the Pedicure chair, should have the following retail products for recommendation;
- Daily maintenance for the client who is fortunate enough to not have any skin problems
- The best way to manage not getting dry skin is to maintenance early on
- Dry skin products to repair and protect our clients once they leave our chair.
- There are many types of dry skin conditions which can be maintained by a simple at home care product.
- Cracked heel products for fissures which will NOT heal on their own.
- Open cracks on the skin leave portal of entry for bacteria to enter. A cracked heel product should be used to first, seal the cracks then followed with a daily maintenance product (typically anti-fungal) to keep the cracks at bay.
- Anti-fungal products for both the feet and the toenails.
- Toenail fungus (or an indication of), wet peeling skin AND some dry skin is fungal related. At home care products for daily use will not only help in the healing of those conditions, it aids in prevention.
So, the next time you see your clients with wrinkled skin on their feet. Take heed. It may be more than you think and YOU just may be the one that saved them from a serious illness or even toe and/or foot amputation.
Know your stuff…..never stop learning and always remember……..YOU CAN CHANGE SOMEONES LIFE.