By Melissa Lockwood, DPM, Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates, P.C.
Now that spring is in the air and feet no longer need to be bundled up in shoes and socks, we tend to pay more attention to how our toes look. Pedicures are a necessity — not just for looking good in those snappy sandals, but also to keep feet healthy and help prevent issues such as ingrown toenails from developing. Many people are looking for ways to stretch their dollars, and an at-home pedicure is one way to save some money. While doing it yourself may not provide the relaxing environment of a nail salon professional, and it may be a little tricky to get the polish on just right, it is possible to give yourself a good pedicure. Here are a few important things to remember so you don’t end up at the podiatrist’s office fixing painful mistakes.
Remove any existing polish using a non-acetone remover. Acetone is very harsh and drying to nails — after all, it’s actually a paint stripper.
Soak your feet in warm water with a little dish soap added.
Trim and file nails straight across. Do not use a fingernail clipper for toenails. They often aren’t strong enough and are difficult to maintain straight cuts. No digging in the sides. This will almost certainly cause an ingrown toenail, so be extremely careful to avoid trimming down those sides.
Always use clean instruments. I have heard too many stories about people using all sorts of tools (wire cutters, gentlemen?) that can have bacteria and fungus on them. Use alcohol swabs to start, and soak and clean any instrument after each use and between people.
Make sure you file the edges regularly in-between regular pedicures — whether DIY or by a professional. This can reduce the need for actual trimming and can also be very helpful with thicker nails that might cause pressure in your shoes.
Apply polish using a base coat first, which helps the polish go on easier and also prevents discoloration of your nails. I highly recommend Chrome Girl all-natural nail polish because it contains tea tree oil and other essential nutrients. This helps prevent any fungal infection from developing and also keeps nails fully hydrated while looking great!
Leave the cuticle and callous trimming to the professionals! Cuticles (at the base of your nail bed) provide watertight protection to your nails and, if not trimmed correctly, can cause serious infections. Buff callouses with a foot file, but do not shave them. Any cuts can lead to infections.
It is also important to lotion your feet daily with a water-based lotion or cream. There are several great creams that can fight off callouses and hard or dry skin.
Now put your feet up, let your polish dry, and admire your summer-ready tootsies.
For more information on any nail or foot problem, please contact Dr. Lockwood at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates, at 309-661-9975 or www.heartlandfootandankle.com. They also carry Chrome Girl polish. Their office is located at 10 Heartland Dr. in Bloomington.Back to Top
The information provided on Healthycellsmagazine.com is provided by the
cooperative efforts among health and fitness professionals in each
respective community. This information is not a substitute for medical
attention. See your healthcare professional for medical advice and
treatment. The opinions, statements, and claims expressed by the
columnists, advertisers, and contributors to Healthycellsmagazine.com
are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. All information
on this website is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without written
permission from Limelight Communications, Inc.