Dr Marc Blatstein, 1993 in Nails Magazine: Comments for the Salon Owner

Dr Blatstein has offered to share with us just a portion of an article that appeared in an 1993 issue of Nails Magazine.

Safe Pedicures and Manicures; Growing Old Gracefully

Safe Pedicures and Manicures; Growing Old Gracefully

SERVICE
*
THE OLDER PERSON NEEDS REGULAR PEDICURES
PROBABLY MORE THAN ANYONE. YEARS OF HIGH HEELS AND OTHER FOOT BATTERING MAY HAVE CAUSED HER TOES TO CURL AND BECOME PARTICULARLY SORE.

Don’t be pigeonholed into thinking that older clients have no sense of fashion or adventure. Don’t let that cable-knit cardigan fool you; she may be just the person to try your new airbrushed French manicure. Offer your client choices. Don’t try to change who she is, but be aware that no one w ants to do the same thing all the time, even
when it comes to nail care. Most of your older clientele will probably keep their nails short, whether they prefer manicures or extensions. Keep things interesting (and keep her interested) by suggesting different services.
Dr. Norah Brand, a Southern California pediatrician, at first turned her nose up at the idea of a paraffin dip for her feet, but once she tried it she was converted. On her feet all day tending to patients and making rounds at the hospital, she looks forward to her pedicure appointments and dips.
Many older clients, especially those who may suffer from arthritis, dry skin, or other ailments associated with the aging process, respond well to paraffin dips, electric mitt treatments (hands and feet), and aromatherapy treatments, as long as sanitary protocols are followed especially when using paraffin.
If these clients are not currently getting pedicures with you. you’re missing out on a great income opportunity. The older person needs regular pedicures probably more than anyone. Years of high heels and other foot battering may have caused her toes to curl and become particularly sore. Also, aging toenails can harden and yellow and require constant attention.
By combining the hands and feet services, you can more than double the original service ticket. Critical to the success of the manicure/pedicure combo again is timeliness. Most women do not have two or three hours to sit while their little piggies are pampered.  While the feet soak, for example, do the manicure. Put the hands into warm mitts before polish while you do the feet. (If you intend to do both services, keep two sets of implements: one for feet and one for hands.)
YOUNG OF MIND, NOT BODY
As with all your clients, Dr Blatstein always recommends  getting a full history on older clients when they come in for their first appointment. You must be aware of any medical conditions that may preclude you from performing certain services, as well as any medication they’re taking that will affect the service you recommend or product you intend to apply. If she is under a physicians care, you may want to ask her doctor if she has any special needs you need to be concerned about.
When performing services on an elderly client, warns podiatrist Marc Blatstein, stay away from procedures that may draw blood, Older clients have reduced resistance to infection, Because of this, you have to avoid anything that will break the skin; even be cautious of rapid filing.
Adds Blatstein, “Watch out for diabetics — it can affect the small vessels. Sometimes a diabetic may not even know she has the disease.”
Older clients may also have circulatory problems that indicate you should not do any type of massage. On the other hand, the client may be afflicted with non-vascular ailments and a massage would make her feel better.
Older clients may present with conditions not ordinarily seen in younger clients. Thickened nails are common. Keep them filed down neatly. Brittle nails are another common characteristic of aging hands and feet. A warm water or oil soak prior to the manicure will do much to keep nails supple. Blatstein recommends that vou be particularly careful trimming/filling these nails so that they don’t tear. Many technicians also have found that acetone polish removers can dry out nails and suggest that vou use a non-acetone remover.

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