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When to seek medical attention for your feet

As a nail technician, we are trained to groom and enhance the appearance of client’s toenails by shaping the nail, cutting cuticle, removing dead skin cells and callus, moisturizing the skin of the feet, and performing a light massage to help improve circulation and relaxation. However, as a nail care professional part of our job is to know when to refer clients to a medical professional, more than likely a Podiatrist, when what they need exceeds outside our scope of what we can provide.

1. Toenail Fungus: Possible removal of the nail with a prescribed antifungal medication to treat the nail bed is required for definitive cure. (Thick nail, discoloration, nail lifting from nailbed)

2. Ongoing Athlete’s Foot: If you have tried over the counter medication for about a week or two along with switching out your shoes but still notice that it hasn't gone away there could be a bigger problem. It could be an indication of a bacterial infection that sometimes looks like a fungal infection and in this case, you would need to be prescribed antibiotics instead of an antifungal. (Itchiness, stinging sensation, redness, peeling)

3. Real Thick, Yellow, Raised, Flaky Callus: Because it could be a sign of a fungal infection or a bacterial infection. Therefore, the removal of the callus only doesn't cure the underline problem.

4. Ingrown Toenail: That causes pain, swelling or drainage should be seen by a licensed medical professional. Typically, inflammation and drainage are clear signs of a bacterial infection. A doctor will be able to properly remove part of the nail along with prescribe medication to effectively clear the bacterial infection.

5. Diabetic Feet: People with diabetes are at higher risk of foot health problem. It is within great practice to see a doctor or podiatrist at least once a year for a diabetic foot exam. Regular diabetic foot exam can significantly help reduce the risk of foot infection and amputation due to diabetes

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