It’s summer time, and you know what that means! Toe peeping shoes and sandals galore!
On a recent visit to the mall I found myself sitting down for a pedicure, unplanned of course. To make matters worse, I was embarrassed to show my hairy legs, hence I hadn’t shaved. Fortunately the nail tech was quick to put me at ease. I learned something interesting that day regarding pedicures. This in turn led me to the hunt for the dos and don’ts for a fabulous pedicure.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind the next time you get a pedicure at home or in the salon.
- DON’T shave your legs before getting a pedicure! This was news to me! Resist the urge to have smooth legs, at least until afterward. Apparently, freshly shaven legs can leave small cuts on your legs. These may be microscopic in size so you don’t necessarily see them, or at times you may nick yourself while shaving. If you go in for a pedicure with legs in this condition you risk allowing bacteria to enter your body. So from now on I’ll be showing up with scary hairy legs!
- DO bring your own pedicure utensil set to the salon. This is something I don’t do but I always make sure the nail tech uses a new set of utensils when she works on me. Usually these come in a sealed package that has been sterilized. Bacteria and fungus can move easily from one person to the next if the salon doesn’t use proper sterilization techniques.
- DON’T use a foot razor to remove dead skin! I never have this done because I freak about the potential to have my foot sliced. I do however see people get this done ALL the time. You risk getting permanent damage if the razor is used incorrectly. And don’t even think about it if you’re a Diabetic! Getting an infection is seriously high if too much skin is removed.
- DO use a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub when eliminating thick, dead skin buildup. Also known as calluses, on the heel, ball and sides of the feet, these need to be treated accordingly. Lucky for me, I don’t have any of the above but I still have a scrub done. Ask your nail tech to allow you to soak your feet in warm water for at least five minutes before beginning a scrub. Then use the stone, scrub, or foot file.
- DO gently run a wooden or rubber manicure stick under your toenails. This is something the nail tech does automatically but not necessarily with a wooden or rubber stick. If not bringing your own utensils, again, make sure they use utensils that are sterilized. This helps keep your toenails clean and removes the dirt, glitter, and other types of build-up you may not be able to see or remove yourself.
- DON’T apply nail polish to cover up discolored nails. Working in a medical office I see patients who come in with this kind of thing all the time. Thick and discolored toenails could be a sign of a fungal infection. Nail polish locks out moisture and doesn’t allow the nail bed to “breathe.” If you think you have a toenail infection, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist immediately to get it checked out.
- DO use a toenail clipper with a straight edge to trim nails. This ensures your toenail is cut straight across. Other tools like manicure scissors or fingernail clippers increase the risk of ingrown toenails because of their small, curved shape.
I hope you find these tips useful. Enjoy your summer by putting out your best foot forward!
For more information about foot health, visit APMA.