Taking care of someone else's feet

Helpful tips for those taking care of someone’s feet

We would love nothing more than to take care of your loved one’s feet, but due to the current situation, we have come to terms with divulging a trick or two to you. Feet and nails come in all shapes and sizes and we feel it important to say that our tips are guidelines only and please consult us to book any foot routine treatment needed.

If you are someone who has taken upon them to care for an elderly loved one or a person who may have mobility issues these next few tips would really help to comfort these people until they got to a professional.

Before we begin you need to make sure you have adequate tools for the job. You wouldn’t begin to paint a room without adequate paintbrushes now, would you? To cut the nails it is best to use a straight cutting tool it can be clippers, nippers or scissors, you decide what you’d prefer. A set of nail files having a choice of rough and soft files would be ideal but not essential. Under our nails is a haven for sock fluff and dead skin so a swan neck tool can be used here, or any tool with a rounded pointed edge.

So to begin, soak the feet in some warm water and sea salt for 15 minutes or so. This will help to soften the nails and skin on the foot. Take this time to analyse the nails and see if there are any thickened nails.

When the feet are removed from the water make sure to dry thoroughly, especially between the toes. This way you can check if there is nothing more sinister going on there as well.

You can start whichever way suits you best, but at Step Right Foot Clinic we like to start and finish with one foot before moving on.

When beginning to cut the nail hold the toe and lightly pull the skin away from the sides. This will help to expose more of the nail. With the other hand hold the nail cutter parallel to the nail. Our aim is to cut straight across and to follow the natural line of the nail. If you come across a nail ‘digging’ down, please don’t cut down into it. Just cut from above and file down.

If you find yourself coming across this it may mean the beginning of an ingrown or a recurring one reappearing, please leave this to the professionals.

Once the nails have been trimmed down, use the appropriate nail file for the nail type. If the nails are hard and thick use a rougher file than if the nails are thin and soft. File down any sharp edges.

Our last step in relation to nail care we are going to use the swan neck, or a tool you have at home that has a rounded pointed edge. With this step, we must proceed carefully and with caution. We want to remove any dead skin that may be causing pressure. Ask the question ‘do you feel pressure in any of your nails?’ if the answer is no then just be sure to remove any built-up sock fluff. If the answer is yes then ask them to guide you to the problem area and lightly remove any debris you may find. You may go down the sides as long as you respect the line of the free edge. Always remember at this stage LESS is MORE.

If at any stage you have questions regarding the foot health of the person you are caring for please don’t hesitate to contact us via email or Facebook.

Stay tuned for some more helpful tips on taking care of your feet at home.

Stay safe everyone,

Líadan and Ruth at Step Right Foot Clinic