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Diabetes Feeties.

Old photo, but those feet remain pretty adorable.  Except when she steps in the cat food bowls.  Less adorable then.(That has to be one of the goofiest subject lines I've had in the last few ... evers.)

A few days ago, I received an email from a fellow T1 PWD who has been living with diabetes several decades ... but hadn't ever had a pedicure in her whole life.

And I replied:  "Neither have I."

There were several crutons of information thrown at my family and I upon my diagnosis almost 25 years ago ("Don't even think about getting pregnant" and "Pedicures will cause massive infections so none of that, either" being repeat offense croutons), and getting a manicure or a pedicure was always marked as a no-way back in the day.  However, times are doing their "changin'" thing

From what I've been told, the risk is a possible infection.  With all that filing and scraping and whatever else they do while they grapple with your toes, there's a chance of a foot wound.  And then an infection.  And all hell can break loose.

Or so the rumors go.

Personally, I've never cared about a manicure of any kind.  I don't know if there is a manicure "type," but if there is, I'm not that girl.  I don't like nail polish on my fingernails.  I don't like nails any longer than my nailbed.  I'm a writer, the mother of a young child, and I do a lot of housework, so my hands aren't for "show."  They're for work, and I beat them senseless on a daily basis.  

As far as a pedicure goes, I paint my toenails all the time.  (Right now, they're a lovely rose color.)  But I do it myself, and I file my nails with a basic emery board.  I have one of those As Seen On TV! PedEggs and I use it when the hot beach sand and my flip flops take their toll on my heels.  But for the most part, my beauty regimen from the ankles down is simple.  So long as my feet look nice, I'm happy.

Because secretly (shhhh, don't tell anyone, okay?), I'm a little scared of a pedicure.  It's on that BIG LIST of things PWD ARE NEVER TO DO and it's always highlighted in the scary chapters of diabetes books.  But is that fear legit?  Are nail salons brimming with germs and grossness, and do the nail technicians come at you with giant buzzsaws o' destruction? Or is it a judgment call that people with diabetes need to make on their own?

Has anyone with diabetes had a pedicure and survived to tell the tale?  What are the dos and OMG-don'ts of getting your mani-pedi on?  (And be honest:  does it tickle as much as I think it does?)

Comments

No, it does not tickle as much as you think it does.

As far as getting a pedicure, I'm very selective as to where I go. Because of all the "OMG FEET AND DIABETES" crap I've heard my whole life, the getting cut & infected does scare me. However, I've found a place that I go to (once a year, maybe). I feel very comfortable there and have never had any cuts, infections or bad "OMG!" moments. Just moments of "why did I wait so long to do this?!"

I have had pedicures! I have never had a problem with them. I've never gotten an infection from a pedicure. I do have to admit that they do tickle a little bit but they are worth it! I love how soft and pretty my feet look after. I personally don't like feet very much, even my own so having someone else make them pretty is nice.

I'm like you and like my nails relatively short with no polish. But I DO get manicures because they trim cuticles, etc. etc.

I LOVE pedicures. Love them. You are missing out. You need to march over TODAY and get one!

When Q was diagnosed one of the things I was most sad about was that we were told not to let her walk around barefoot outside. She's a barefoot girl and an outdoor girl. It broke my heart (of all things). After a year or so I asked if she really needed to wear shoes in our own yard (low risk of rusty nails, etc.) and I was told to let her go barefoot. As long as she didn't already have open wounds she'd be fine. I was so glad that "diabetes myth" was dispelled.

I don't have diabetes, but I can tell you that there is nothing like getting a pedi/mani to pamper yourself a little.

(Oh and I'm incredibly ticklish and there's always one moment that I just can't take it. But it's worth it. Ask for a hot stone massage if they have that option.)

I get a pedicure once a month! I've never heard that diabetics shouldn't get pedicures, but I was diagnosed in 2006. Change of times?

But I am very particular about what salon I go to. They have health ratings just like restaurants, so I do my research before I go anywhere. Oh, and reviews are your friend!

I've found a great place with a great health rating and I've never gotten knicked there (I have at other places, but I never go back after). I've never revealed the fact I have diabetes, even though I wear my medical ID in plain sight.

Oh, and it does tickle! But my feet feel so soft afterward that it's worth it. Plus, I pay the extra to get the foot massage. So, so worth it! =)

It totally tickles, and I nearly kick the lady any time I've had one done.

I typically mention that the nails need to be cut straight across (otherwise ingrown yuckiness tends to happen for me), and to not cut the cuticles. And I watch them like a creepy hawk to make sure they don't use any of the scary looking tools. :)

I've had T1 diabetes for more than 5 decades, I have been getting pedicures for years. I've never has any problem. Just make sure the salon is reputable and licensed. I don't let them shave the soles of my feet (it is against the law in my town, anyway). I keep my cuticles in good shape so that there isn't much cutting, and I have a small box of personal tools at the salon (they do that for good customers.

OMG. Me too, me too, me too!

I've never had a pedicure. I paint my toenails, but not my fingernails, I have a PedEgg thingy (a gift from my sister) that I might sometimes, occasionally use, and I'm scared of pedicures. But my reasons are as follows: feet can be gross. What's grosser than feet, however, is the control freak women who order pedicurists around... I think I get this sense from movies and TV, as I have never spent enough (any?) time in a salon to pay attention, but still... who wants to shove their feet at someone else, then watch them closely to be sure they're not doing any of the diabetes no-nos?

Eeeeek, so excited, I had to comment. Will stop babbling now. :-)

I get pedicures every 2 weeks and love them!! Wasn't ever told not to, which stands to reason, as I imagine your feet can pick up just as many germs from walking around barefoot! I won't lie...they do tickle though! :P

I HATE manicures (too much awkward touching) and keep my finger nails short and clean like you do.

I usually paint my own toenails but I do enjoy a pedicure every so often.

Do you have full feeling in your feet? Would you know if you got a cut or an infection? If so, you can get a pedicure. Or at least that's what my endo said during the same conversation where she told me I could go BAREFOOT!!

Yes! I get pedicures every 2 weeks and have for the last 5 years. I also got them as a special treat with my mom when I was little. Definitely make sure the place is clean, but I have found they do a better job than I would!

...I didn't even know they were on the no-no list. I just took my diabetic daughter to get her very first pedi as a treat for her 8th birthday. She had a blast and is loving her sparkly blue toes!

That said, if you pick your salon right, I doubt there's much danger. There's a warm, bubbly footbath to start with (that you can verify with the management includes antiseptic), and the nail tech should be wearing gloves while they're filing and buffing. A friend of mine has gotten some small nicks and cuts from time to time from the process, but they cleaned it out with alcohol before continuing.

I *love* getting pedicures -- it's one of the treats I use to reward myself. You should definitely at least give it a try!

I take my 11 yo daughter every once in a while to have a pedi. As long as they are clean I think they can do a better job of cutting her nails correctly than we can. I guess I worry more about ingrown toenails than infection from the salon. And she loves it.

So I've been living with the big bad d a few years short of a decade longer than you and have heard the crutons years ago. I was told to NEVER EVER wear flip flops, sandals or open toe shoes of any sort....did I mention EVER??!! Plus all the crutons you heard, not sure of never getting pregnant, tho. I think as PWD's we have to be super careful and pay special attention to our feet. That being said, I have gone the way of a pedi (and mani, while I'm confessing here, they never seem to last because I beat my hands senseless, too. But for me a mani is more of a once in a while thing) But I digress. I feel if you're in good control and want one, go for it! Call around check a few places out and do your homework. Make sure the place opens a fresh pack of instruments for each person and make sure you can direct them on what you do not want done. (Like the razor thingie to the rough spots on your heels, big no no for me) if you feel uncomfortable with them trimming your toe nails then show up pre trimmed. It's all just a matter of making sure the place you go to is very clean and the person you see does what you ask of them. But I do warn,if they use the little sandpaper block thing to smooth your toes & heels it CAN tickle! Good luck and let us know if you try it out:)

I have only ever had one pedicure, and I will warn you, it was probably in what most people would consider a "high-risk" location: a beauty school. One of my best friends was taking classes there, so she made a habit of regularly inviting us in for haircuts/colors/treatments. It was experience for everyone and helped them earn credit toward graduation. I figured my pal wouldn't let me have a pedicure with someone she didn't trust, so there you go.

IT TICKLES LIKE THE DEVIL. Of course, I am one of those people you can pretty much tickle just by looking at me. On the other hand, I do like a good foot massage, so that part was awesome.

She used a portable tub--there was no footbath attached to my chair. Also, as far as I know, learning the proper hygiene practices is a big part of beauty school, so I didn't really feel nervous about that either. I had soft, happy feet and sparkly purple toenails when I was done.

I think the word on the street about pedicures should simply be YMMV. I also like checking reviews on Yelp for salons along with health data. Who has experienced a place more firsthand than its customers?

Only pedicure I have had was before I was diagnosed - while it was heavenly, I can get most of what I want out of a home pedicure.

(Except the foot massage part. That, I cannot recreate.)

I've gotten pedicures before... probably 5 or 6 and all well after I was diagnosed with T1. My endo yelled at me recently for it. In the past, I've told the person doing it that I had diabetes and they don't cut the cuticles as much or at all around the nail. I've also not said anything and been fine.

Personally, I absolutely hate it when people touch my feet. Last time I got a pedicure, I nearly kicked the woman in the face because it tickled so bad. I can't even stand the long pointer thing the endo uses to test the sensation in my feet either.

Will I get another pedicure? Probably, but I won't make it a habit. I will definitely always let her know that I have diabetes and, of course, make sure the place is clean.

I love getting pedicures. My feet always look and feel a lot better than if I paint them myself. I have never had a problem or got an infection because of a trip to the nail salon. As long as you are looking at you feet and checking for sores, i think pedicures are a lovely treat! Diabetics aren't supposed to walk barefoot either and i do that ALL the time as well. My feet are pretty and happy and i am confident my doctor would say the same!

OMG. Total myth. I get pedicures about once a month in the summer and during the winter a little less frequently. I ask them not to use the razor thing on the bottoms but totally let them get all the dead skin off and calluses (?).Plus they make my toes look BEAUTIFUL!!! Only ONCE in the last twelve years have I gotten an infection and I also get a manicure evey three-ish weeks. I do think you need to be careful about where you go. Use common sense. I have had diabetic friends that have only gone to the podiatrist to get their feet taken care of and they have gotten infection from clipped nails or other services. It can happen anywhere.

I get manicures and pedicures when I can afford them and I've never had an issue. I've gotten more cuts and blisters from shoes over the years than I ever have from a pedicure so I figure I'll chance it. Just my take on it.

I love them, but they do tickle. Highly recommend them though.

My question is, when did all you pwds start with the foot care? When you were little? I've already encouraged water shoes for the beach, but sometimes my little one still escapes the house in bare feet with sandals -- instead of the socks he customarily wears...I've heard it's not a major concern when you are little, but I'm trying to start good habits.

I've been diabetic for 21 years and get pedicures regularly, and my feet would be a disaster without them! I also just go to reputable places, and they don't use ANY razors or even pumice stones- just another tool that removes the dead skin from your feet in a non-invasive and painful way. Go to a nice salon and get a pedicure ASAP!

As a fellow T1 and a licensed cosmetologist/nail tech, I can give my personal and professional opinions.

Pedicures should be completely safe if you go to a reputable salon. That does not include the plethora of Asian establishments (they break State Board guidelines frequently).

Every salon should be cleaning their implements and tubs between every client. There are very strict guidelines on how to do so. You may also want to mention that you are a diabetic, and they can take extra care while clipping your cuticles and filing your feet.

That said, pedicures are closely related to religious experiences in my book. It's a little personal time, to get pampered and massaged and rubbed.

And yes, it tickles. :) I have to hold onto the chair during the foot filing. But it's worth it!

I have had type1 41 years and started getting pedicures about 10 years ago. I'm a massage therapist and you would think the luxury would be that. Nope! For true relaxation, I get a pedicure. The massage of the lower leg, ankle and foot... to die for! My pedi is usually an hour.

The above comments are right you want a reputable salon. Some words of caution leave nail polish on too long and you thin the toe nails. Typically, a pedicure uses many more layers of polish and it affects the cuticle over time. I have a pedi once every 6 weeks and take off the polish after 2-3 weeks, and go naked til my next leap into luxury!

I get pedicures all the time! I love them! I was worried about it at first but I come in with, "I have diabetes so please be gentle with my feet" kind of attitude. I go to the same place with the same nail tech everytime. I have never had a problem and I tell them NOT to use the scraper thingy...it's wierd and not safe for my feet. They are totally cool with that. I totally recommend getting a pedicure...it's 30 minutes of bliss and you get to play with the massage chair too! PS...I always make sure they clean the foot tub and tools before they start. Safety first!

I get a pedicure once a month! I love love love them. I honestly do not recall ever hearing "PWD shouldn't ever get a pedicure" however I do recall my mom telling me not to go to thoes $12 places.
Actually to the best of my knowledge, a pedicure (if at a reputable/clean place) IS one of the better things a PWD can do for their feet. It is important to NOT use a razor on your heels and to use a paddle embry board instead. As well, if they use any tools that seem to be "for digging" tell them NO.
I hope you'll try it, I think you'll really enjoy being pampered in that way and goodness knows you deserve it.

I get pedicures regularly, and actually consider it part of my health care regimen! They help keep callouses down, keep my feet properly hydrated, and keeps my nails in check.

I am a little picky about where I go, and even more so about WHO I go to. There is a shop I go to where I ask for a specific person that I trust.

I think pedicures can be scary. My son has diabetes, not me, but I've always been wary. You hear of how germy it is and that's just gross.
I have a friend, again the parent of a CWD, who recently had a hangnail. She went to the podiatrist to have it removed and ended up with one of those super-infections. She's going through hell trying to beat the infection and save her toe. Diabetes or not, these things freak me out to hear.

I have had three or four pedicures and I do not like them! All of that scraping and filing and poking...ew! I'm never frightened when I go in, but when it starts to HURT then I worry--will this be the "dumb thing" that makes me lose a toe or foot? So really, I don't think they are worth it.

However...the foot massage part is lovely (and tickly!)and I have thought about going in just to have my nails painted and my feet massaged without all of the added stuff. It's very relaxing, when I am not busy worrying!

Sometimes they tickle, but only for a second.

My doctor told my parents that too when I was dx'ed as a little girl.

My sister is a manager at LUV pedicures/manicures. American owned and operated... I went to a Asian ran one before and they destroyed my feet. They ripped them to shreds and I was constantly monitoring the cuts they made when trimming my cuticles... Not cool. So I asked my sister what her place was like and I asked if I could take a tour and talk to some of the workers. 95% of them had knowledge about diabetic feet... They go slow and easy to make sure nothing gets cut or ripped and I was welcome to watch them sanitize the foot bath. At LUV you have the option to purchase your own tools for a very small fee, with some of the fee going to breast cancer awareness, or you can let them use their own, it's up to you.

I've gone there quite a few times for mani/pedi and I've never had an issue at all. It's worth doing the research on the places in your area- who runs them, how do they clean the place and items, do they know about diabetic feet, etc. That way you can relax enough to enjoy it!

I've had many a pedi in my day and never had a problem. Just try to go to a reputable place (ask your friends or look up online reviews)and yeah, make your own call. I personally love them as they're pretty much a special occasion only thing, but I think the whole worry about infection is fairly outdated.

I have had many pedicures and not had any issues. I do make sure to go to the nice and clean salons vs the cheaper, shady looking ones...I ask them about their sanitation and they usually show me how they sanitize everything. I also don't let them use some of the questionable tools on my feet. They seem too dangerous lol. The risk of infection for us is only out there if our blood sugars are not well managed, otherwise the risk is about the same for us as for the rest of the population. Therefore I don't worry too much. But I do take precautions and that's what I'd recommend anyone, diabetes or not. :D

I'm with you Kerri, I prefer to do it myself. Why bother to find the "right" nail salon that is clean and will not hurt your feet. Also, I find that pedicures expensive and the do-it yourself option is more penny wise.

I think the real concern with diabetics and pedicures is for those who have neuropathy. Poor sensation in the feet => not noticing a cut => bad times. If you take care of your own feet, which you obviously do, you're good. I've had many pedicures, and I can always tell if they cut anything too close, and taken care of it accordingly. (Usually if something gets cut too close it's because I did it myself, haha.)

Huh? I'm not supposed to be getting pedicures? Missed that one entirely.

Monthly or bi-monthly pedicures for 15 years with no diabetes related problems. I ask them not to cut the cuticles on my toes and go to a reputable place.

Along these same lines (things we were told not to do that might be baloney), how do people feel about weight-lifting? That was a big no-no to my first endo and I've always obeyed. However, in my 30's and would like to develop a bit more muscle mass.

I have been getting pedicures for about 10 years and manucures for about 15. No problems here, and I use the one in the mall. My endo suggested I go to a podiatrist, but I would much rather go get a pedicure, because it feels so much better and I wear open-toed shoes almost all year round (Florida). It is much better than your feet getting all dried and scaly. I definitely recommend! You will LOVE!!!

I love getting pedicures!!! As long as you choose a very clean/reputable salon the chance of infection is low. Also, tell them before they start that you are diabetic--Good salons know that that means to go easy on all the cutting. And as someone mentioned before, you can get your own tools and take them with you each time, that way you know your tools are clean if you are very worried about that. I have been cut before and got no infection. I made sure to put antibiotic cream on it and watched it. As for manicures, I'm like you--I do too much w/ my hands to bother w/ it, especially polish which chips w/in a day. But for special occasions (like being a bridesmaid, etc) I will get a mani. The whole experience is so relaxing!! Ask around for the best, cleanest nail salon and I think you will love it!
Someone mentioned above about going barefoot---as a T1 kid, I ran around all the time barefoot. If I got a cut, my parents made sure it stayed clean and watched it, but I never had any issues. Kids+summer+bare feet=awesomeness!

I've had a few and the best part is sitting in the massage chair and relaxing as your feet soak in the warm bubbly water bath!! It's relaxing, if nothing else...and I'd say us diabetics need to relax and de-stress every now and again! :)

no one ever told me about the ban on pedicures (my kid was diagnosed 2 years ago). she gets one or two a year, for special occasions. she likes the massage part. it only tickles a little bit.

I LOVE pedicures! As a matter of fact, my doctor even encouraged them... of course, you have to make sure to select a spa or salon with high levels of cleanliness- and I always start by telling them that I just want them to focus on exfoliating my heels and a simple file, shape and polish!

I've heard the horror stories, but figure that, as with anything diabetes related, I have to take control of the situation and manage it myself! I pay attention when they are working on my feet and communicate to let them know what I want and what I don't want!

It is a great treat and I'd advise you to go quickly and get one! Your tired feet have been missing out!

of course they're harmless!! i've been diabetic for nearly 6 years, and im nearly a teenager - so i get one or two a year. there's nothing to be afraid of, honestly. the place i go to uses disposable emery boards and pumice stones, so its not like you're gonna get foot fungus from someone else's gross foot. they wash the nail clippers and whatnot in hot and sterile water. there's nothing to worry about...but YES, they do tickle. almost kicked the lady doing the massage part in the face a few times. go for it!!! they're fun =)

I've had two pedicures in my life and both went great, no issues! (I am type 1 also). I am with you though, I do them myeslf if nothing else, for the money savings. I used to get my nails done regularly but also don't want to pay someone to do it anymore (I'd rather buy cute clothes for my son - lol).

I have my pedicures done at a day spa -- it is super clean, has curtains, relaxing music, and you can get a foot and lower leg massage. I tell them that I'm diabetic and not to use metal instruments on my cuticules. I've never had any infections from their pedicures. My feet are very ticklish but it is worth it to get pampered. Oh, and last week I bought my first pair of sandals since being Dx in 2008. Be gone, stupid myths!

I've actually heard the opposite -- PWDs should get regular pedis to keep the callouses in check.

I personally don't enjoy the experience -- it tickles and feels too classist to me to have someone cleaning my feet -- but like the result, so I do it myself. Also, the last couple of pedis I got resulted in a pretty stubborn toenail fungus, and these were supposedly "reputable" places that autoclave the tools.

I have had problems with over-zealous cuticle trims with manicures, and I practically have to fight the manicurist not take the cutter to them.

I was dxd at three, but I remember very distinctly that when I was about 12 or 13 my endo told my parents that I SHOULD get regular pedicures...that it was part of his prescription for keeping your feet healthy. So I quickly added that to the very short list of ways that diabetes is cool (also on that list - getting to register for classes before everyone else in college and always having an excuse to keep Swedish Fish on hand!) and I've been loving getting pedicures ever since!

I'm not diabetic, but have several people close to me (Type I and II), so while I can't exactly relate, I do at least know what you're talking about! :-)

Anyway, most important things first: yes, it tickles like crazy! I always end up in a giggling fit, and feel like a 5-year-old every time. :-p

Seriously, though, I get concerned about fungus and infection, and I don't have any health issues to compound that concern. I have been going to what I thought was a reputable salon for the last 5 years, and just recently, they were exposed for reusing the paraffin wax on multiple customers, day after day. Gross! I'll (obviously) never go back there!

I guess the point of all this is, make 10000% sure that the salon does not reuse supplies and that what gets used on you is either disposable (and brand-new) or comes directly out of the autoclave for sterilizing. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for, so be wary of discount salons and really cheap pedicures.

If you can find a great salon and nail tech, by all means, go and enjoy!

Hi, Kerri! I actually have never been told not to get a pedicure...I was diagnosed in 1993, but I somehow missed that warning! I rarely get a pedicure (maybe had about 5 or so in my life), mostly due to expense and I think I do a pretty good job myself! : ) But if you'd like to try it, I wouldn't worry about infection too much. Good luck with your decision and keep up the good work on your blog---I've been a faithful reader since the beginning...!

I get them all the time! Been a PWD for almost 19 years, have stepped on a rusty nail that went entirely through my foot, just recently got a nasty gash on my foot, and pedicures all the time, but I have lived to tell about it. Honestly, my foot wounds healed at the same rate as a non PWD, so my dr said, so I'm not that worried. and I'm not a barefoot kind of girl, but I live in flip flops, and basically don't wear any type of real shoes from April-November, and I was told when I was little that I shouldn't be wearing open shoes either! Bah!

I've had very few pedicures myself (mostly due to cost) and haven't had any issues. My first ever was after recovering from foot surgery so I think the infection rate is super low. I have super ticklish feet so sometimes it tickles, but I doubt you have a reaction like: laughing so hard you kick the technician in the face. Pedicures help circulate the blood in your feet to, so I feel like they're more helpful than dangerous.

D or not, I HATE people touching my feet! Maybe it is because I think feet are kinda gross in general. Or maybe it is because I have had several broken toes from my gymnast years, which never fully heal, and foot massages can be a bit painful for me.

And really, as long as I can reach my feet and see my toes well enough to paint my nails, I don't see the point in wasting my money.

i have had many pedicures. my sister is an esthetician, and she usually does it for me. no razors used though, and she only files my nails, never cuts them. the only time i have had a problem, was when i did it myself using a razor. i did cut my toe while shaving a calous, and then ended up in hospital with cellulitis. not good. now i just let my sister do it for me!! it does tickle, and there is a lot of squealing and squirming on my part,but it feels soooo good afterwards!

It definitely tickles!
I get pedicures every couple of months and have never had any issues. They are so relaxing and feet feel so smooth after!
Good salons actually will ask you if you have any feet issues, diabetes etc. And will take precautions.
I even got the fish pedicure a couple months ago and that is definitely ticklish!!
I have heard you should be careful if you have open wounds or callouses.

You should get one...it is relaxing and you will not regret it. I do not have diabetes, but my daughter does, and I have had moments where I think about the fact that she needs to be careful with her feet as she gets older. But I think if you go to a clean place, are able to buy your own "box" of tools and use common sense you should be ok. If you want a recommendation for a clean place where you can do this, email me, I'm in RI too! :)

Hello - I LOVE pedicures. I was also scared to go for one with all the stories and risk of infection, but I was given some good advice. My doc told me to avoid the places where the basin is a part of the chair as those are quite hard to clean. I go to a place where they bring out a clean steel bowl full of hot water for your feet. They do not use razors and every instrument that they use they open from a sealed bag in front of you. I think just doing some research and asking some questions regarding sterilization of the instruments is a good start. Don't be fooled by those upscale spas either...sometimes they are just as bad as some of the others....anyway, I am not a girly girl, but I really do enjoy a pedi and they last for at least 2 months...

Meredith

Okay, just like diabetes, your feet may vary. I LOVE getting a manicure. My nails tend to break & when they do they go all the way past the quick. Years ago, my doc actually suggested I get regular manicures to see if it helped. It does, but I can't always afford it.

I like pedicures too, but I am extremely ticklish so yeah it tickles as much as you think for me. The ladies at the salon I go to fight over who gets to do my pedicures because my giggling makes them giggle.

When my doc suggested the mani/pedi's he gave me some advice that I have followed for 10 years.

Be up front with the salon. Explain if they don't get it. I let them know about my anemia too so they are always extra extra careful.

Ask friends where they go. Go check the places out. Ask to look around. If they don't have anything to hide they will be glad to show you everything. And I do mean everything.

And most importantly, use a place that opens a hermetically sealed package of tools for every single client. Where I go, they open it in front of me just to reassure me. When I first started going there, they even let me inspect the package & seal. They also offered to give me the number of the company that cleans & seals their tools.

Some shops will "clean" their own or even will use an autoclave but I prefer the ones that use companies that do it for them. Those places are bonded.

So that's my two cents. I think you should give it a try. :)

I just had my very first one this week! I have been a T1 for 10 years and have always feared this - in fact, my T1 husband just had a toe amputation from an infection. BUT - I have recently decided to try and "lose my fear." There is so much to be worried about - and yes, I could get an infection from a pedicure, or I could just go get one, make sure it happens as safely as possible and enjoy every blessed second of it.

I have had a pedicure, nothing bad happened in spite of being diabetic for several years...and I did not enjoy it - way too ticklish, and way too rough on my feet...I'd rather get a massage. :-)

I go to a lady who does pedicures out of her home. She uses a basin and bath salts instead of the chair with the jets... she told me that unless a spa cleans the chair basin with disinfectant, then fills it all the way up with disinfectant and water, and runs the jets for 30 minutes... then you are putting your feet back into infected water with lots of dead skin cells of the person who used the chair before you. Whether that is totally true or not is irrelevant to me... because my little OCD germaphobe self vowed never to go to a salon with the chairs and jets again... I will just go to my little old lady friend's house and enjoy our conversation and gossip! HAHA! I hope you can find a nice place to go and do a basin pedicure, because they are WONDERFUL! Just make sure to communicate that you are a diabetic.... my lady's husband is a Type 2... so she is so gentle and wonderful! :) Happy Feet!

Go get a pedicure! Being diabetic for almost 26 years. I have had maybe 10 in my life..... Wedding. 40th birthday stuff like that. Before I sit in the seat, I tell them I'm a diabetic. And no potato peeler, yikes!
I'm SO ticklish and pedicures kill me!
I'm with you as far as manicures go, short nail, hands beat up from cleaning, testing blood sugars,

I have been T1 for 24 years and I took the pedicure pluge a few years ago. I found what "everyone" said was a reputable place and enjoyed my new toes. Then one day I saw blood start gushing out of my toe as she was working on it. She accidentally cut part of my skin. Now, mind you, nothing happened. I didn't end up with a raging infection or lose a part of my foot, but the fear that consumed me was Not Worth It. I worried for weeks that an infection might show up. And by the time my toes were back to gnarly-looking, I decided the mind-game was not my thing!

Pedicures are awesome happy things. I can't afford to get them often, but I love getting them when I can. And I paint my own toenails all the time during the summer.

My feeling is that if you can feel your feet, and you're aware about if/when you've got a cut or infection, you're fine.

Obviously don't go some place creepy, or some place that doesn't seem right, but if you use good judgment, you're good to go.

I've only had one place that I refuse to go back to. The foot massage part actually *hurt* because the woman was using too much pressure, and I felt like she didn't really take her time.

I have had pedicures, and have permission from my podiatrist. His only caution is to go to higher quality places, (the theory being that they really DO sanitize their instruments) OR to buy your own instruments and bring them for them to use on you. I only go about 1x/year, so I just pay more. AND, I always tell the person that I am diabetic. They have (so far) always immediately understood what I am saying, and honestly, if I needed to clarify, and explain why that was significant, I would probably leave. :) Enjoy!!

Yo, have you tried the crackle finish from O.P.I.? It is soooo cool. My toe nails look like distressed pieces of furniture.

I've never had one either, but the I've read and heard from friends who have had pedi's that it's the shaving tool they can use that can cause infections. So, if and when you decide to go, make sure use the stone. It's safer for all, not just PWD's.

You've obviously received many comments already but I wanted to add my two cents too :) I never got a pedicure either. Until last year that is. Like you, I was always afraid and thought it was something I should never, ever do. Especially following my father's experience I am very paranoid about my feet. However a wise diabetic friend suggested that I bring my own tools for the pedicure that way you know without a doubt they are clean. So that's what I do. And I pay careful attention while they work on my feet and tell them to go easy if they start to hurt at all. I hate to say it but pedicures are awesome.

Pedicures are awesome, but you really DO need to be careful of infections... I got one once when I went to a not-so-great place. But even my T1 Diabetic foot healed up just fine :P Just go to a higher quality place; you may pay a little more but you can relax and enjoy the pampering (yes, it does tickle a lil). ;)

Annabetic, my 13YO, is a pedi expert. She advocates for herself that she wants her nails filed, not cut, no callouses shaved, etc. We can't imagine going "without"- pretty toes are a must in Oregon from, oh, maybe July through August? And no matter what we do, our home results just aren't as good. Oh- Anna just "commemorated" her 5-year diabetiversary, and we were "WARNED" but not strongly about the risks...never had a problem.

Oh Kerri, you are missing out!

I loooove getting my toes did although I never bother getting a manicure. I tend to bite, I mean, keep my finger nails super short and neatly filed.

I am really picky about where I go - and on the rare occasion that I do switch salons I ask a TON of questions and I don't feel at all funny asking them to skip a step I'm not comfortable with i.e. please let that hot towel cool down to warm before laying it over my feet or can tell me what you use to clean the the tubs and you clean the tubs after every customer right?

Then I sit back and enjoy the ride - from the snazzy massaging chair to the hot stone massage from my knees to my toes :)

I have never had a pedicure either. I think about it all the time, but then I worry about the infection thing.

I have had diabetes for 19 years and was never told to not get pedicures - and in fact, I get pedicures all the time and have never had any issues. I am pretty careful about where I go - making sure things look clean, etc. although I will admit I have gone to a few "quickie" type places - even then, I have never had an issue. I can paint my own toes, but I just feel a pedicure is the only way I can get really soft skin on my feet. I DO always tell them I am diabetic, as most good places will avoid anything to do with cutting cuticles, etc. with diabetics. Be sure to watch how they keep tools clean - preferably they would use new tools versus even sanitized tools. Ultimately, of course, it's up to you!

I've had pedicures many times in the past. By no means am I a "Manicure or Pedicure Type", but as long as the place is clean, doesn't wreak of acetone and has personal use tools I'm there. I tell them not to cut cuticles, just push and I've never had an infection. I have heard that little voice in my head before worrying, but I'd be more concerned walking around on the hot sand barefoot and risking a cut on the beach! Plus, being prone to cracked heels, I figure better to pamper my tootsies than be all dry and flaky! Indulge Kerrie! There have got to be good places up in your neck of the woods!

I get Pedi's alllll the time! In fact, this summer I think I got one every 2ish weeks with all the weddings, running, beach days, etc! Never had any problems even though I was scared @ first with all of the things doctors says upon diagnosis. But, I am also guilty of wearing high heels and doing all of those other 'betes no-no's. Bad betic?!

All natural But for my BFFs wedding it Had to be done... OMG I almost kicked the poor woman so many times it tickles so much! But, the massage I got?? SO worth it. All the basic tools you use, they do. They clean Everything (least where I was in TN) before Each used, with Nasty Strong Toxic (my nose is so very sensitive) stuff. I have not had an issue, that was last year. I say at least once you gotta. Find a Good place that gives the massage, soaks your feet, dries them, the works. :-) And of course, T.E.T.O.

I did a "piggy" (toes) post back in June too because of how scared I've been about having something happen to my feet. We've heard so much about the fear associated that I too have never had a pedicure. I thought I was a D-rebel just because I used a Ped Egg. They say it's safe enough to use on a balloon, but not on diabetic feet??? Craziness. Loved this post, I'm keeping my piggies pretty at home, we've got enough stuff to worry about. :)

I hate to be the devils advocate but... my husband works in a hospital and has seen infections from manicures and pedicures so Mani/Pedis are off the list for me Diabetes or not.

Having said that I think if you research where you are going, let them know you have diabetes, watch for signs or infection and have it treated right away if one should arise you are probably fine.

I do get pedicures as part of the 'take care of your diabetic feet'. I worry about dry heels getting cracked and possibly leading to infections etc, more than getting a cut at the nails spa.

The place I go to specializes in mani/pedis. I like them because they're super clean, open a new pack of instruments for you (but what if they're not really new?! Hmm...) and they listen to your instructions if you offer any. (For instance, staying away from a suspiciously dry and hard spot between my toes). I always ask them to stop before they over-scrub my heels and if I don't trim my toe nails beforehand, I ask them to cut straight across the top. Then I come out with soft, unharmed, happy feet :)

I've mentioned it to my doc, who said not to worry as long as I'm careful :)

Hmmmm...I get pedicures ALL the time. It's my treat. Though they're not covered by insurance, i think they should be, for people with diabetes. Why? I have found a fabulous woman at a reputable spa, who's father had diabetes. She's aware of foot troubles. She knows my feet better than me! Always checks them thoroughly and makes comments about anything she sees...
It's funny, i was told not to get them, too, when I was diagnosed 26 years ago...funny thing is, that same doctor told me never to sit with my legs crossed, b/c of circulation problems! :)

Have gotten pedicures at salons for 10 years now and am diabetic. Never had a problem. However, today at a new place, the pedicruist said state law prohibits her from trimming my cutices; have never head that before and find it hard to believe. Has anyone else heard this?

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