With warmer temperatures approaching, people will begin to prepare their feet for their spring debut -; which means making sure their feet look and feel good.
One way to achieve that feeling is to get a professional pedicure. In a recent American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) survey of women ages 18-49, close to 50 percent stated that they had received a professional pedicure by the age of 25 -; a ritual that may be more healthful than you think.
“Pampering and grooming your feet promotes good foot hygiene and should be done frequently to contribute to not only your foot health, but also to your body’s overall health,” said Dr. Marlene Reid, an APMA podiatric physician.
The following tips will help you attain a safe and perfect pedicure, which will put some spring into your step for the warmer, sandal-wearing season ahead:
For salon pedicures:
- Think clean. Salons are typically cleanest earlier in the day, so consider making your pedicure appointment during the morning hours.
- Limit the risk of infection. As precautions, take your own utensils and refrain from shaving your legs prior to your visit to limit the risk of cuts and scrapes getting infected. Additionally, don’t allow technicians to use a razor to remove dead skin on your feet. This can lead to infection if done incorrectly.
For pedicures at home:
- Properly care for cuticles. Always use a rubber cuticle tool to gently push back cuticle tissue. Never cut cuticles as this can increase the risk of infection. Resist pushing back cuticles often -; this can make cuticles thicker and harder to manage.
- Stick to straight. Use a toenail clipper with a straight edge to clip toenails straight across. Rounding toenail edges greatly increases the chance that ingrown nails will develop.
- Smooth out feet correctly. Begin by soaking feet in warm water for five minutes. Follow up by scrubbing feet gently with a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub to remove thick, dead skin build-up.
- Finish up with polish. Always use nail polish when putting the final touches on your spring-ready feet. Only apply polish to healthy nails -; if nails are thick or discolored, don’t cover them with polish. This locks out moisture and prevents the nail bed from breathing. If fungus problems persist, consult a podiatric physician immediately.
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