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What is a Diabetic Pedicure and Where Do You Get It?

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So what is a diabetic pedicure? What makes it different from regular pedicures? Below, I’m breaking down what a diabetic pedicure is, who can do a diabetic pedicure, and what are the steps involved in getting a diabetic pedicure.

what is a diabetic pedicure

What is a Diabetic Pedicure?

A diabetic pedicure is a pedicure that focuses on treating foot care problems that diabetic patients are more likely to have. Medical professionals give these pedicures and they are offered in medical spas or podiatric clinics.

who gets a diabetic pedicure

Diabetic Pedicure vs. Regular Pedicure?

A diabetic pedicure is a medical foot care treatment that a medical professional gives(ex: a podiatrist). A regular pedicure is a cosmetic service that a nail technician gives. Below is a list of some of the main differences between these services.

Diabetic Pedicure

Waterless– Diabetic pedicures don’t involve any soaks in a foot bath. This is to reduce your risk of getting an infection(if you have diabetes because foot baths can contain bacteria). Remember, if you have diabetes you have a high risk of infection(Read More Here). This is due to nerve damage and poor circulation. 

Note: The key to good diabetic foot care is to reduce the risk of infection for diabetic clients.

Medical Evaluation – The most important thing these pedicures have is a medical evaluation. Your healthcare provider will examine your feet and ask you different questions about your foot health. Based on the answers you give, your foot doctor will give you a foot treatment to help get your feet in good shape.

Location- Doctor’s offices provide diabetic pedicures. You would be in a room with a doctor like you would for typical visits.

No Nail Polish- This process does not involve nail polish. The focus of this treatment is healthy feet. You can potentially add nail polish as an add-on, but it is not included in the typical treatment.

Regular Pedicure

Water-  Regular pedicures usually start out with a foot soak to soften the feet. This is done in lukewarm water that contains a mild soap.

Location- A nail salon offers regular pedicures. Many nail salons throughout the U.S offer pedicure services.

Cosmetic Foot Care- Basic foot care that involves exfoliation and cuticle removal is given. This service does not treat more serious foot complications like ingrown toenails. 

Nail Polish is Applied- Your nail tech will apply nail polish or other nail enhancements to give your foot a nice and polished look. Many salons offer regular, gel, and acrylic treatment options.

Who can Perform a Diabetic Pedicure?

A diabetic pedicure is being done by a medical professional such as a podiatrist

A diabetic pedicure is a service done by a medical professional such as your podiatrist. Since the focus is on diabetic feet, a health care provider with expert knowledge about your diabetic condition is necessary for this pedicure.

Where can you get a Diabetic Pedicure?

You can get a diabetic pedicure at a podiatrist clinic or at a medical spa. Diabetic pedicures are not offered at local salons due to the specific medical expertise and equipment needed.

What is Included in a Diabetic Pedicure?

A diabetic pedicure is a 4 step process that includes the following.

Foot Exam- The 1st step to a diabetic pedicure is a foot exam. Your health care provider will look for any signs of serious foot problems and ask you questions about your foot health. Once your evaluation is complete, your provider will give you a pedicure that fits your needs and addresses any major concerns.

Softened Feet- There is no water involved in this treatment. In order to soften nails and calluses your provider will apply a hypoallergenic solution. This helps clean the skin which reduces the risk of a fungal infection.

Dead Skin Removal- Your provider will remove the dead skin on your feet with a medical-grade e-file. This allows for deep cleaning without skin damage.

Hydration-  Your provider will then apply a special cream on your feet towards the end of this treatment. Finally, your health care provider will give you a gentle foot massage to help with any circulation problems.

A diabetic pedicure is a great option for you if you’d like to have diabetes and would like a professional to help you restore your foot health.

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Can someone with diabetes get a regular pedicure?

You have to be very careful with regular pedicures. The process of regular pedicures is safe for most people but can be a health risk if you have diabetes. Simple things like sugar scrub, foot soaks, and removing calluses can cause microtears in the skin that will allow bacteria to enter your foot more easily. It is very important to ensure that the professional giving you a pedicure has a good understanding of your diabetic condition and can accommodate it.

When should you skip the regular pedicure?

You want to skip the pedicure if you have open wounds. Having small cuts allows bacteria to get into your body much easier. If you have diabetes, your risk of infection is much higher and your ability to heal is slower. Definitely skip a salon pedicure if you have any cuts on your feet. This will prevent any potential foot injury.

How do you care for your feet in between diabetic pedicures?

A great way to take care of your feet in between diabetic pedicures is to keep your feet clean and be gentle with them. Wear shoes that are comfortable and clean dry socks. Don’t expose your feet to very hot water or treat ingrown nails on your own. Applying moisturizer and taking simple good care of your feet is enough in between treatments. Foot product recommendations


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