Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Infections From Pedicures

As sandal-weather approaches, people are more likely to visit a nail salon for a pedicure to prepare for summer footwear. Without proper precautions, salons can spread fungal and bacterial infections from client to client. The infections can spread from tools that were not sanitized or tubs that were not cleaned properly. Infections can also occur if the person sustains a cut during the pedicure.

When visiting a salon, a person should check for signs of unsanitary conditions. The foot tubs or whirlpools should look clean. There should not be any sign of nail clippings or sandings left around the salon. The salon should never use razors during pedicures. The use of razors during a pedicure is banned due to the increased risk of injury and infection.

The most likely source of the spread of an infection is contaminated instruments. The instruments used in pedicures must be sanitized after every use. If someone neglects to do this, fungal and bacterial infections are easily spread. Some clients opt to bring in their own instruments in order to minimize the risk of infection.

The symptoms of fungal infection are soreness and redness of the skin around the nail. Fungal infections of the nail lead to thickened, discolored nails. Bacterial infections can cause soreness, redness, and pus to form. Infections can occur under the nail or to the skin surrounding the nail.

Paronychias are infections to the skin that surrounds or hangs over the nail. If left untreated it can cause a severe infection affecting the entire toe. Paronychias are usually bacterial infections but they can be fungal.

To treat nail infections, the doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic depending on the severity and type of infection. If an abscess, or pocket of pus, has formed, the doctor will drain the abscess using a scalpel. The doctor may recommend foot soaks as part of the treatment.


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