Is maintenance really understood?

I was brushing my teeth this morning and for the first time in a long time I spent the time flossing between my teeth which have a metal brace behind them.

Those who have this type of retainer, understand. You just can’t use a floss stick or even regular floss. You have to attach the floss to a thin, flexible component and strategically place it through each teeth, floss and then pull out. It’s time consuming and quite frankly a pain in the ass.

I’m usually pretty consistent with flossing however, life has gotten in the way this past month and something always suffers when you are in constant rushing mode.

Anyhow, as I’m taking a close look in a magnifying mirror, I notice a build up of plaque, already after just failing to follow proper maintenance in just a month.

Hence, my inspiration for this article.

One of my favorite teaching words of wisdom when talking about maintenance in regard to the skin on our feet is;

“Can you brush your teeth in January and not brush them again for another 4-6 weeks”?

The answer of course is yes. Yet, you may not have any friends and if you continue this nasty habit, in the end you won’t have any teeth. At least, not healthy ones.

The reaction to this statement is always the same.

  • Ewwwww
  • That’s nasty
  • So true
  • and of course the typically laughter

However, I honestly don’t believe the concept is quite being grabbed. So, let’s talk about this.

Our teeth are very important to us no doubt. They are our image. If not cared for we could get gum disease, bone disease or rotten teeth.

The infection could get into our bodies cause severe illness and create a lifetime of problems.

In the end, we may end up having them all removed and we have beautiful teeth with no one really noticing a difference. Except our pocketbooks.

Therefore, we do brush our teeth daily, or even twice daily. We may not floss as often which causes more work and discomfort when we go to the dentist. However, we go back to square one. The Dentist tells us to floss and hands us a new toothbrush.

Our feet however, carry us around for a lifetime. We walk 150,000 miles around the circumference of the earth and the allow us the mobility to get from one place to the next, drive a car, dance, run and wear pretty shoes.

Yet, our feet is always the last thing most people think of to do proper, daily maintenance.

It’s also the last thing many of our Technicians care to discus with their clients because they don’t “like to sell” retail.

I had the opportunity recently to perform a pedicure on a male friend of mine. He recently moved from Las Vegas to Florida after his 2nd retirement from the Air Force. First as a Colonel and 2nd as a civilian working at the Academy he developed the academics for when the Academy first opened during his tenure in the Air Force.

He knows of my Business and my products and months ago recruited my help in providing him with a product to help with his dry skin on his feet.

At the time he asked me for product, he wasn’t here in Florida. However, another mutual friend was already using our LCN Urea 25% foot balm and shared with Joe (fictitious name), how much it was helping with his dry skin. So, I sent him one which, he claims he uses diligently.

Fast forward to now.

I heard through is Mother, he was getting ready to schedule a pedicure with someone from the Hair Salon she frequents.

I said great, I’m glad he’s going to do this but I want him first. I’m always looking for reasons to use my new product sa’SHá. I like to stay hands on and although I still get daily rave reviews…..I still want to continuously see for myself and try new techniques.

He agreed and here we go.

Joes’ feet were horrific. He knew it, I didn’t. His pressure points were severe, he had slight cracking, extremely rough and dry and in the cracking areas there was indication of dirt. He defintely needed sa’SHá.

In our conversation he of course knew they were bad yet didn’t quite understand because he uses the product daily. So, I asked him some questions;

  1. Tell me what bothers you most about your feet
    1. I don’t like the way they feel, nor look
  2. Do you use the 25% foot balm every day?
    1. I try to
  3. Do you walk barefoot?
    1. Only inside my house
  4. Are sandals the only thing you where?
    1. Yes, especially since I’m not working and moved to Florida

By asking my friend “what bothers him most about his feet“, I am allowing him to tell me what the problem is without me directly having to say it. In theory, we know if someone doesn’t like something, they want to know how to fix it.

His answer “I try to” when asked how often he uses the product tells me two things.

  1. He may not be a daily use person which means I need to provide him with another product which will be more effective yet doesn’t have to be used everyday. In this case, I recommended the Urea 40% cream.
  2. I now know, it isn’t just how damaged his skin is as to why he might need something different, He’s not getting the results he could get by not using his current product daily.

My next question “do you walk barefoot” and his answer “only in the house” is what sent a light bulb off in my head…..our clients just don’t understand. BACTERIA IS EVERYWHERE! Not to mention, he has a dog.

People are under the misconception that there are areas which are okay to walk barefoot. NO!

Joe’s house is impeccable. However, just the mere fact he has a dog is a red flag. The dog goes outside. Does he wear shoes and take them off at the door? I would bet also, like any dog, he probably rolls around in the grass once in a while.

And, what about maintenance people or friends who visit? Are they bringing bacteria in off their shoes? OMG!

Joe didn’t think about these things. Of course not, why would he? It’s our job as Professionals in the foot care industry to explain these things to our clients and continue to explain how there are all sorts of bacteria lurking, even in our own homes.

Last but no least,  wearing sandals. Anytime our feet are exposed to external influences, we are candidates for dry, rough skin.

 

 

Once all these answers are explained, we as Professionals need to take it a step further (no pun intended :))

Why does all this matter?

It matters because remember, our feet carry us around for a lifetime. We need to protect them. The way to do this is by having healthy, happy skin. the job of our skin is to protect us from external influences. If we leave portal of entry for bacteria to enter, we are putting ourselves at risk.

Portal of entry isn’t just our ears, eyes, nose, throat and other open body parts. It’s cracks, it’s fissures. It’s damage we unknowingly cause to the skin on our feet. And, we just accept what our skin look like because we really don’t what to do.

We have a graveyard full of product we have bought. They don’t work. We just continue to buy more because we are just hoping that next product will work.

The reality is we have to help them understand why the skin on their feet end up looking like they do in the first place. They need to be made aware of the following;

  • Health implications – the effect medicines have on our bodies
  • The hazards of walking barefoot
  • The repercussions of ill fitting shoes
  • Our diet

We also should make them aware of the dangers;

  • Bacteria is lurking everywhere
  • Bacteria can enter through portal of entry – cuts, cracked skin, wounds
  • Bacteria can enter the blood stream, it can make us really sick or even die

AND;

  • Explain to them the importance of consistency maintenance
  • Educate them on why products work and why they don’t
  • Inform them on the products you represent

Change your language;

  • You don’t sell products, you represent them
  • You don’t sell products, you recommend them

Lastly, adjust YOU. Get your self together, learn your brands, make good choices and be confident.

 

 

I would also like to add, think of your future!

As you build your foot care clientele, you’ll gain clients and if professional, you’ll gain loyalty.

Wouldn’t it be better for you if you only had to take the mulcher out once? Instead of every 4 weeks?

By recommending professional products to your client, you repair their skin and when they come back for their 4-6 week pedicure….work is less for you.

If you can’t understand this, you need to find another Profession.

CJ Murray, President

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