Step Up to Pampered, Healthy Feet

Enjoy a Full Pedicure for Happy, Healthy Feet

Are you one of the millions of American women who dislike their feet — feet that are dry, cracked and hidden from view?

If you’ve tried countless creams, medications or pumice stones with little or no relief, or can’t afford weekly spa pedicure treatments, don’t fret. Relief for your time-worn, cracked tootsies is in sight, right in the comfort of your home.

Dr. Jeffrey Best, a Norwalk, CT podiatrist, said that 25 percent of his patients complain about their calluses, corns, and dryness. Unattractive feet could be one reason why pedicures have become one of the most popular spa treatments.

And today’s pedicures are no longer just about pretty toenails. Dry, cracked and sometimes painful feet and heels not only detract from the foot’s appearance but can also lead to infections.


TLC For Tired Toes

According to a recent American Podiatric Medical Association survey, 25 percent of women perform at-home pedicures, while 34 percent have indulged in salon or spa pedicures. Whichever way you pamper your feet, do it safely. Here are some tips from APMA member podiatrist Dr. Marlene Reid:

1. Soothe your soles. Smoothing away calluses on the heels, balls, and sides of your feet will make them feel better. Use a pumice stone, foot file or foot scrub. You can make your own scrub by combining olive oil and sea salt. Avoid using a foot razor, which can remove too much skin and cause infection and permanent damage if used incorrectly.

2. Dry up. After soaking feet, make sure to thoroughly rinse off the scrub or other products and pat feet dry. Pay close attention to moisture between the toes, which can lead to athlete’s foot or other fungal infections.

3. Snip the tips. Toenails should be trimmed to just above the top of each toe. Use a straightedge toenail clipper to ensure nails do not become curved or rounded in the corners.

4. Make a clean sweep. Run a wooden or rubber manicure stick under nails to remove any dirt trapped underneath. Be very gentle and never use a sharp tool to clean under your nail or you may puncture the skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection.

5. Shape them up. Smooth nail edges by filing toenails with an emery board. File lightly in one direction to smooth the edge of the nail without drastically rounding the corners of the nail; don’t saw back and forth.

6. Care for cuticles. Moisturize cuticles with a cuticle cream or hand cream, then gently push them back with a rubber cuticle pusher or manicure stick. Cuticles serve as a protective barrier against bacteria entering the body and should never be cut.

7. Polish up. Nail polish locks out moisture and doesn’t allow the nail or the nail bed to “breathe.” Paint toes only if you have healthy nails and remove polish regularly with a non-acetone nail polish.


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