Foot care nurse treatments provided by advanced foot care nurse Vivienne McGaghey, RPN, AFCN.
Each foot care treatment starts with cleansing of the feet using chlorhexidine, a mild skin disinfectant. Any areas of callus, corns or dry skin are sprayed with Footlogix Callus Softener which can be left on the skin and doesn’t need to be washed off. This continues to soften and moisturize skin long after the foot care treatment. All foot care treatments are finished with a moisturizing foot and lower leg massage to help improve skin texture and circulation.
Foot Care May Include:
Reduction of Thick or Ram’s Horn nails using nail nippers and podiatry drill.
Fungal nail treatments using a mixture of tea tree oil and oil of oregano. There are many fungal nail treatments that are useful in stopping the spread of fungus but few are natural and don’t interfere with prescription medications. Some even require blood work monitoring. Teatree oil and oil of oregano are all-natural, don’t require a prescription or blood work and don’t interfere with other medications. They have powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that are improved when used together. First, the “dead” infected portion of the nail is reduced using nail nippers and a podiatry drill, then oil mixture is applied. All fungal nail treatments only stop the spread of the fungus—the infected nail needs to be trimmed and filed away as it grows out. This may take 8 months to 1 year depending on the individual’s rate of nail growth and underlying health conditions.
Plantar Wart/Skin Tag Treatments: Difluoroethane is the cryogen that is used. It freezes the lesion to below 60 degrees C in 10 seconds. The cryogen kills of the blood supply to the lesion. In approximately 7-14 days the treated area scabs over and falls off. New healthy skin tissue grows over the area in time. This is monitored by the nurse. Multiple treatments may be necessary. Dead skin over warts may require scalpel debridement to ensure cryogen penetrates deeply into the lesion.
Cutting and Filing of nails using nail nippers and podiatry drill.
Conservative treatment of Ingrown nails (no surgery): Advanced Foot Care Nurses are not licensed to perform surgery so we must use conservative methods such as careful nail trimming to remove any “spike” that may be “digging” in while ensuring the surrounding skin remains intact. If the surrounding skin is intact nail packing using sterile cotton wisps provide a tiny physical barrier to keep the nail from piercing the surrounding skin as it grows out. Curved or involuted nails can be straightened over time using these methods. If conservative methods fail the client will be referred to a chiropodist or podiatrist for in-grown toenail surgery.
Removal of Calluses and Corns: Footlogix Callus Softener is used to soften the hardened skin prior to removal of the non-viable hardened skin using a scalpel, gouge or podiatry drill with special burrs for this purpose. Padding and strapping are usually done post callus/corn removal.
Padding and Strapping (pressure relieving offloading): This is done to help offload pressure to areas of the foot where pressure is causing callus, corns, wounds, and discomfort. Semi-compressed felt is cut into special shapes to make pads that are adhered to the underside of the sock liner or manufacturer’s insole in the client’s footwear. Sometimes toe separators or hammer toe crests made of leather or silicone are used to offload pressure to toes.
Curve Correct Ingrown Toenail Bracing Treatments:
The nail brace is a thin composite that is bonded to the nail. The brace stays in place as the nail grows out. Most people require the brace to be replaced monthly. Based on the Orthonyxia treatment method, the brace acts as a spring to gently uncurve the nail. It lifts the nail edges reducing pressure on the skin. Correction is painless and occurs over a period of weeks to months. Severely curved nails may require repeated applications to achieve the desired effect and comfort.
Podofix ingrown toenail bracing system:
Used to heal ingrown toenails and to re-shape curved nails. A painless alternative to ingrown toenail surgery with zero downtime. No restrictions for bathing, swimming, and soaking of the feet. The brace also stays in place with sports and normal day-to-day activities. It is very small and doesn’t add any extra bulk to the toe. Most patients report they forgot it was even there. Nail bracing is based on the principle of orthonyxia which means “spring action”. The brace gently pulls up on the sides of the nails to relieve pressure. If the brace is applied at the beginning of the visit it allows for a virtually painless removal of any offensive “nail spike” that may be causing the issue. The brace stays intact for 2 months and holds the nail in the proper position as it grows out. Patients report “no pinching” or discomfort they may have felt with other methods. The brace needs to be replaced once it grows out past the mid-nail point as it no longer provides optimal tension on the nail. How many braces needed for total nail correction and comfort varies from patient to patient depending on the level of curve of the nail and the desired effect we are trying to achieve.
Our Foot Care Specialist:
RPN, Advanced Foot Care Nurse
Vivienne graduated in June, 2000 from Conestoga College with a certificate in Practical Nursing.