My feet hurt!

Would you rather have a tooth ache or tired/sore feet?

Hmmmmm – that’s a toss up. Neither would be good in my opinion.

Tired/aching feet is the #1 source of pain on our bodies. And…it doesn’t discriminate by age!

Whether you are a young child or an adult, tired aching feet can make for a bad day.

Proper shoe wear is hugely important and can be the cause of many reasons as to why our feet can hurt.

Once again, being able to identify what we are looking at as Pedicurist, not only exudes Professionalism, it gives confidence to our clients who will gladly take our advice on either how to care for what is happening or seek out a Medical Professional, possibly referred by us.

Our feet carry us around for a lifetime. By the age of 50, we can almost guarantee we would have walked at least 75,000 miles. That’s a whole lot of wear and tear.

So, you can imagine almost everyone in their lifetime will experience one or more of the following 17 common foot problems.

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  • Athletes feet
  • Blisters
  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Heel Spur
  • Claw toe
  • Mallet or Hammer toe
  • Gout
  • Ingrown toenail
  • Fungal nail infection
  • Plantar wart
  • Metatarsalgia.
  • Flat foot
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Sesamoiditis
  • Diabetic Neurothapy

The question is….YOU as a Professional, do you know how to identify these conditions? If staying within the limits of your license, are you able to recommend products, shoe props or both? And, do you have the Professionalism to refer to a Medical professional if necessary?

Answering YES to all the above is the only acceptable answer. 

YES

Athletes Feet:

Itchy, stinging, and burning feet and even toes (especially in between) may be signs of athlete’s foot. Athletes feet is a contagious condition which frequently appears after you make contact with fungus. Locker rooms, public showers and community swimming pools are common breeding grounds.

Foot blisters, crumbly toenails, and cracked, dry, and raw skin on your feet are often associated with athlete’s feet.

Recommending the right at home care products is crucial.

Do you know your products and who they can benefit? Look for products like our LCN mykosept line or FLX anti-fungal line. Both will aid in the transformation of your clients skin on their feet.

Blisters:

Blisters are characterized as raised pockets of fluid. This condition can be painful and typically caused by walking or standing for long periods of time, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or having sweaty feet.

In most cases blisters aren’t a serious condition and can be treated at home. It is best to let the blister heal naturally. Draining the blister is not recommended.

If you client is presenting with blisters accompanied by flu-like symptoms, refer to a Medical professional.

If working on a client with blisters, it is recommended not to offer a foot soak IF the blister is broken open.

Our FLX sweaty feet formula is a great aid in helping to reduce the symptoms of sweaty feet.

Bunions:

A bunion is characterized as a bump on the side of your toe. This condition, can cause your great toe to bend towards your other toes, which can make it painful to walk. It can also cause inflammation and irritation on your great toe and second digit.

Bunions are often a result of the foot structure you inherited. They are also caused by  tight or ill-fitting shoes. Walking and/or standing for too long may aggravate them.

Proper-fitting shoes is the best recommendation for relief of bunions. (Do you have a referral in your area?) Offering foot props like toe separators is a great retail option and lastly referring to a Medical Professional IF your client is in pain from the bunion is highly recommended.

A bunion can not be repaired without surgery, however foot props can slow down the process of getting worse and help reduce the pain.

Corns:

Round circles of thickened skin on your toes or the sole of your foot would be characteristics of corns. Your body forms corns to prevent blistering and is typically caused by our gait and constant pressure on the same area over and over again.

Hammer toe, bunions, or poor-fitting shoes can be all causes of corns. Over time, corns may become irritated and should be looked at for treatment.

There are OTC recommendations however, foot props like toe straighteners or met pads do help relieve the pain.

It is NOT within the limits of our license to remove corns. Any proposed corn removal should be referred to a proper medical professional. We can however, use a callus softening product to aid in reducing the hard thickness which can occur because of a corn.

Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar fasciitis is noticed by pain in the bottom of your heel or in the lower part of your middle foot. The plantar fascia ligament becomes strained due to the use of soft-soled footwear with poor arch support, frequent standing, long-distance running, weight gain, or other foot conditions.

It usually develops over time, and pain can range from dull to sharp. You may experience more pain when your feet have been resting for prolonged periods.

Caring for this condition at home can include applying ice, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and stretching the foot daily.

Refer to a Medical professional if pain has become unbearable. The Dr. may be able to ease pain with corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, orthotics, or surgery.

Servicing a client in the pedicure room who is experiencing pain from PF should be managed very carefully. Light, hug and hydrate massage is recommended.

Heel Spur:

Signs of a heel spur would consist of pain, inflammation, or even a bony protrusion at the front of the heel. Heel spurs will occur because of a calcium deposit that grows between your heel and arch.

Heel spurs may be diagnosed through the pain you felt in the heel or could be a result of another foot condition altogether, such as plantar fasciitis.

Feet should be at rest, you should evaluate your footwear, and refer to a Medical Professional if you experience heel pain.

Heel spurs can usually be treated with cold compresses, medications, physical therapy, and possibly surgery

Much like servicing a client who has PF, heel spurs should be treated gently.

Claw Toe:

Claw toe or commonly known as claw foot, occurs when the first toe joint points up and the second joint points down.

This can happen suddenly or may even be apparent at birth. Having a claw toe may or may not cause pain and discomfort. However, it can be a sign of a more serious medical condition like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or cerebral palsy.

Proper shoes, splints, toe exercises, medications, and surgery are the only known relief processes. Referring to a Medical Professional if your client is in severe pain is hugely important.

Recommending proper foot props like toe separators of toe straighteners AND Gell toe crest, may provide some temporary relief.

Mallett or Hammer Toe;

Mallet or hammer toe results in a curved toe that points down rather than outward. Mallet toe can be the result of genetics, footwear that doesn’t fit right, or other foot problems (ie: high arches or bunions). Arthritis or a toe injury may also cause  a mallet toe.

This condition may actually be very painful when walking or stretching your foot, and you may not be able to wiggle your toe.

Wearing shoes that are the right fit and offering toe props such as foot cushions, gel toe crest and met pads may help your clients symptoms.

Gout:

Gout is a condition which can often affect your feet, especially in the big toe. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in your body. The affected area may feel very painful and often feels like your foot is on fire.

Gout can occur in many forms and in four stages. Gout may come and go or develop more chronic gout over time that damages your joints.

Gout can be aggravated for many reasons…eating certain foods, and occurs most commonly in men between 40 and 50 years old as well as postmenopausal women. Also very common amongst diabetics.

Gout is solely treated by a Dr.

Recommending shoes that are the right fit and offering toe props such as foot cushions, gel toe crest and met pads may help reduce your clients symptoms.

DO NOT SERVICE A CLIENT WITH GOUT IN THIER FEET.

Ingrown toenail:

Toenails that grow into the surrounding skin are known as ingrown toenails. This can happen if you have nails that curve, poorly trimmed nails, compressed toes, or an injury to your toes. In addition, genetics may play a role.

Mild cases of ingrown toenails can cause discomfort and tender skin around the nail. This can usually be relieved with a warm water soak and some OTC pain medication such as Tylenol.

More severe ingrown toenails may not heal on their own and also become infected and result in redness, bleeding, pus, and pain.

Painful, redness, puffiness ingrown toenails should NOT be managed in the Pedicure room and is 100% out of the limits of our license.

If you clients presents these symptoms, they should be referred to a Medical doctor.

Surgery is an option, although recommended as a last option.

We have choices of assistance with ingrown nail systems within our Nail Industry. Always check with your State Board of Professional regulation to inquire if what you use is within the limits of your license.

Fungal Nail Infection;

Indications of a fungal nail infection can be….Scales or streaking, crumbling, flaking, and yellow spots on the toenails.

Symptoms may develop slowly. Fungus is always a secondary infection which may have occurred because of a medical condition like diabetes, exposure to contaminated nail instruments, use of a public place like a swimming pool or locker room, or a skin injury near or around your toenail.

Nail infections can be very persistent and may require an antifungal medication available only with a prescription. However, there are several OTC beauty professional products which would make great recommendations such as our LCN Mykosept products or FLX nail tincture.

Plantar wart:

A wart on the bottom of your foot is very common and known as a plantar wart. This is caused by human papillomavirus and is highly contagious.

They can be painful, especially when walking. However, they’re very treatable…BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL ONLY.

A client presenting with a plantar wart should NOT be offered a pedicure.

Stone Bruise:

A stone bruise is also known as metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia affects the ball of your foot and is caused by poor-fitting shoes, high-impact exercise, or other underlying conditions.

It is very common for the area between your toes and arch to feel tingly or numb, sharply painful, or like you have a pebble in your shoe.

Symptoms often get worse with time.

Resting your feet, applying ice to them, using pain relievers, and finding better-fitting shoes are common ways to treat a stone bruise.

In addition, toe props such as met pads offer great relief for someone with metatarsalgia.

Flat foot:

Flat foot refers to the lack of arch in your foot when standing, hence the name flat foot.

This is typically a genetic condition that only requires treatment if it hurts when exercising or standing for long periods.

Treatment may include orthotics, pain relievers, or recommend foot props like arch supports.

Morton’s Neuroma:

Surprisingly, you may or may not realize you have Morton’s neuroma, as it isn’t always painful. However, if massaging a client who does have a MN, it can be very painful.

Morton’s Neuroma is a condition that thickens the tissue around a nerve in the ball of your foot, between your arch and toes.

Morton’s neuroma occurs in middle-aged women and can be caused by high heels, too-tight shoes, athletics requiring repetitive movements, or foot or gait abnormality.

Switching shoes or resting your feet may be the only relief, along with foot props such as gel toe crest and/or met pads.

If the condition doesn’t improve, refer to a Medical professional who will  examine the foot and create a treatment plan which may include physical therapy, and other interventions.

Sesamoiditis:

Sesamoiditis is a type of bone inflammation of the foot that causes pain. The sesamoids are bones in your foot where tendons connect to help bend your big toe.

Sesamoiditis occurs when the sesamoids are injured or inflamed, often after particular activities like participating in ballet or playing catcher in baseball.

Resting your feet, using heat or ice, taking pain relievers, or trying a compression bandage may be initial treatments for this condition. You may also need other treatments as guided by your doctor

Diabetic Neuropathy:

Monitoring your feet for changes is a critical part of managing diabetes. This is because you may experience diabetic neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves because of unregulated high blood sugar.

You may experience your feet tingling like pins and needles or other symptoms like loss of feeling or sensitivity in your feet or problems walking. If you have diabetes, you should see your doctor right away, especially if you develop these symptoms because they can lead to complications such as infection and injury, which may result in amputation.

Maintaining adequate blood sugar levels helps reduce the risk of diabetic neuropathy.

A client with diabetic neurothapy should NOT be soaked and must be treated very delicately in the service arena.

As you can see, there are many situations which we might be presented with in the Pedicure arena.

This is why it is so important to NOT to treat every client the same, ask the proper questions, ask the right questions and modify your service accordingly.

CJ Murray, President

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