CARE OF THE FEET AND NAILS
The feet and nails require special
attention to prevent infection, odors, and an injury to tissue. People are
unaware of foot or nail problems until pain or discomfort occurs. Problems may
result from poor care of the feet and nails such as biting nails or trimming
them improperly, exposure to chemicals and wearing poorly fitted shoes.
Purposes of care of the nails
To keep nails harmless
To prevent accumulation of dirt
under the nails and reduce occurrence of infection
Characteristics of a healthy nail:
A normal healthy nail is
transparent, smooth and convex with pink nail beds and translucent white tips.
Care of nail and foot
Inspect the feet daily including the
tops and soles of the feet and the area between the toes.
Wash and soak the feet daily using
luke warm water (37º C).
If the feet perspire, apply a bland
If dryness is noted along the feet,
apply soft oil and rub gently into the skin.
File the toe nails straight across
Avoid wearing elastic stockings.
Wear clean socks daily.
Do not walk barefoot.
Wear properly fitted shoes.
Exercise regularly to improve
circulation to the lower extremities.
Immediately wash minor cuts and dry
them thoroughly. Mild anticeptics may be applied to the skin,
Risk factors for foot and nail
Patients with peripheral vascular
disease eg. Diabetes mellitus.
Patients with neuropathy
(degeneration of peripheral nerves characterized by loss of sensation)
Poor ill fitting foot wear
Poor knowledge of foot and nail care
Common foot and nail problems
Callus: is a
thickened portion of epidermis caused by
local friction or pressure.
Corns: is caused
by friction and pressure from shoes.
It is seem mainly on toes, over bony prominence.
Plantar warts are
fungating lesions, appearing on sole
of foot and is caused by Papilloma virus.
Athlete' s foot (Tinea pedis) is the fungal infection
of foot mainly induced by wearing of constricting footwear.
Ingrown nails: Toenails
or finger nails grow inward into
soft tissue around nail resulting from improper nail trimming.
the inflammation of tissue surrounding
nails following an injury. It is common among diabetic patients.
Foot odor or
result of excessive perspiration promoting
micro organism growth.
A pair of scissors or a nail clipper
Wet swabs in a small bowl
A jug with water for washing hands
A kidney tray with dettol 1 in 40
Soft nail brush
A paper bag
Assemble articles at the bed side of
Explain the procedure to the patient
and get his co-operation.
Place towel under the hands.
Wash hands of patient with soap and
water. Use brush if the nails are very dirty. Soak nails in water to cut them
Cut finger nails to the shape of the
nails. Cut toe nails straight across to prevent in- growing toe nails. Take
care not to injure the flesh.
Receive soiled wipers in the paper
Wash hands and dry.
Clean and sterilize nail
clipper/scissors and replace in their proper place.
Dispose off soiled wipers with the