Pedicure Tips: The Dos and Don’ts of Pampering Your Feet
Pedicures have long been a relaxing ritual for women and men alike to soak their feet, enjoy a massage and pick out the season’s hottest nail polish color to splash on their toenails, says podiatrist, Dr. Norman Regal of Triad Foot Center. But before you get ready to do your at-home pedicure or head out to your favorite nail salon, there are some important dos and don’ts from the American Podiatry Medical Association (APMA) you should remember to keep your feet looking and feeling good. Do:
- Bring your own pedicure utensils: Fungus and bacteria can be spread from one person to another as a result of using dirty or poorly sanitized pedicure utensils. If you’re going to a salon, bring your own utensils.
- Go in the morning: If you like a salon pedicure, make sure you go in the morning as the foot baths are typically cleaner earlier in the day. If you can’t make it until after work, make sure the foot baths and filters are cleaned between clients.
- Use different tools for pedicures and manicures: If you’re having both services done in one visit, make sure your technician opens a new sterilized utensil pack before switching from your feet to your finger nails. Fungus and bacteria can be transported from your feet to your nails.
- Use a pumice stone: Pumice stones, as well as a foot file and exfoliating scrubs, are great for removing thick dead skin, known as calluses, from your heels and balls of the feet.
- Use straight edge nail clippers: By using a straight edge nail clipper you’ll get a cut straight across, which will help reduce the risk of ingrown toenails.
- Use an emery board: To smooth out the edges of your toenails, emery boards are the best option. Just file lightly across your nail in one direction without using a lot of pressure. You don’t want to scrape the surface of the nail.
- Remove dirt: Use a wooden or rubber manicure stick to clean out any gunk underneath your nails. This will also remove any dirt build-up that you cannot see.
- Dry in between your toes: Make sure the spaces between your toes are dry after your pedicure. Too much moisture can promote the growth of fungus or athlete’s foot.
- Moisturize: Help maintain a healthy moisture balance by using emollient-enriched moisturizer on your feet.
- Don’t shave: Save your razor for after your pedicure. Small cuts and freshly shaven legs can allow bacteria to enter your system. Skin is more sensitive as well, and can become irritated by chemicals and scrubs.
- Avoid the foot razor: The razor can cause permanent damage and an infection if it isn’t used properly. In many states, these are now illegal because of the dangers they pose.
- Don’t round the edges of your toenails: By rounding the edges of your toenails you increase the likelihood of ingrown toenails developing.
- Don’t share your nail files: Emery boards are porous and can hold bacteria and germs that can be transported from one person to another.
- Don’t apply nail polish if your toenails are thick and discolored: This could be a sign of a fungal infection. Nail polish doesn’t allow the nail to “breathe,” which can worsen the problem. You should also see a podiatrist for medication to clear up the problem.
For more information about foot health care, please visit triadfoot.com Triad Foot Center, a leading North Carolina podiatric practice, has three offices located in Greensboro, Burlington and Asheboro. For an appointment, please call (336) 375-6990 or click here to request an appointment.
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