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Editor’s note: As always, Skin Inc. magazine recommends that skin care professionals obtain the proper training before offering any new treatments in their skin care facility. Also, to learn more about health-challenged skin, be on the lookout for Morag Currin’s book, Health-challenged Skin: The Esthetician’s Desk Reference, available from www.Alluredbooks.com August 2012.
How many steps per day does the average American take? A study conducted by pedometer researcher Catrine Tudor-Locke, PhD, and published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 2004, showed a wide variation in the 200 women and men who participated. The men in the survey took an average of 7,192 steps per day and the women in the survey took an average of 5,210 steps per day.
The average person endures several hundred pounds of pressure on the feet on a daily basis, and walks four times the circumference of the Earth in a lifetime. Your feet get you up in the morning and out the door for your busy days, and yet, they tend to be one of the most neglected parts of the body. Approximately 85% of the population have foot or foot-related problems. It is imperative that the skin, the largest organ on the body, remains healthy in order to perform its main function, which is to protect against injury, infection and the entry of bacteria. This holds particularly true with regard to the feet.
A therapeutic pedicure focuses on addressing the health of the feet and conditions ranging from simple dryness to more severe conditions, such as those resulting from diabetes and fungus. (See Therapeutic Medi-Pedi Treatment.) In the case of diabetics, even ordinary problems can get worse and lead to serious complications. Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, resulting in the loss of feeling in the feet. Nerve damage can also lead to changes in the shape of the feet and toes. Poor blood flow or circulation can make feet feel cold and be less able to fight infection. In severe cases, it can lead to foot ulcers, and even amputation.
It is not mandatory for a client to see a physician before having a therapeutic pedicure. A trained and licensed skin care and nail professional should not work on individuals who have open wounds or sores on their toes or feet, or a visible infection due to ingrown toenails. If any of these conditions are present, refer the client to a physician for appropriate care.