Nail Bracing - the safe alternative for the diabetic foot
People with diabetes, and foot health professionals, will be aware of the importance of regular foot health checks to identify potential risks such as ingrown toenails. Poorly cut or damaged toenails can allow the corner of the toenail, as it grows, to push deeper into the soft surrounding flesh, often piercing the skin causing a superficial laceration and inflammation. This can often progress to infection, and may lead to a need for repeated antibiotics or possibly nail surgery; both of these can carry additional risks for patients with diabetes.
A safe alternative is to attach a nail brace. Nail braces offer a non-surgical, non-invasive, safe treatment solution that can immediately offer patients relief, without any risk of post-surgical infection. Applied correctly and monitored on a 6-8 weekly basis by the practitioner, the results are hugely satisfying for both patient and practitioner.
Although a trend for nail bracing is fairly new to the UK, nail braces were originally created and patented in the early 1800s. They are much more commonly used throughout Europe after the development and patent in the 1960s of the Ross-Fraser nail brace; this is still widely used today.
Nail braces are applied, without any need for anaesthetic, to the nail plate, and gently lift and guide the nail back to its original, natural shape as it grows. There is no ‘down time’ or recovery period for the patients. Patients can continue to go about their everyday lives, including sports, and can even continue to paint the nail/s if desired.
There are various excellent systems available, and the IoCP recommends the 3TO nail bracing solutions: PodoFix, PodoStripe and COMBIped. Each system offers a unique application and treatment. These systems do not rely on UV activations and there is no need for a primer, meaning they offer greater safety. Primers and nail dehydrators usually contain methyl methacrylate, which can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation in susceptible people if they are not fully cured. Primers can additionally cause nail dehydration affecting the overall health of the nail.
So, for an alternative solution to treat your patients with diabetes, consider a nail brace! For those of you in other healthcare professions, spotting ingrowing toenails and making immediate referrals to a foot health professional, can assist in reducing further complications.
For more information visit our website www.iocp.org.uk or email our team email@example.com.