Almost 50 percent of women ages 18-49 say they received a professional pedicure before their 25th birthday, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
“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,” says Dr. Marlene Reid, a podiatrist.
The APMA developed a tip sheet for pedicure do’s and don’ts and, since summer is the height of pedicure season, it’s a timely reminder for those who do get pedicures.
Pedicure Medical Alert
If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, consult a podiatrist so they can recommend a customized pedicure that both you and your salon can follow for optimal foot health.
- DO schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning. Salon foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day. If you’re not a morning person, make sure that the salon filters and cleans the foot bath between clients.
- DO bring your own pedicure utensils to the salon. Bacteria and fungus can move easily from one person to the next if the salon doesn’t use proper sterilization techniques.
- When eliminating thick, dead skin build-up, also known as calluses, on the heel, ball and sides of the feet, DO use a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub. Soak feet in warm water for at least five minutes then use the stone, scrub or foot file to gently smooth calluses and other rough patches.
- When trimming nails, DO use a toenail clipper with a straight edge to ensure 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. See a podiatrist if you have a tendency to develop ingrown toenails.
- To smooth nail edges, DO use an emery board. File lightly in one direction without using too much pressure, being sure not to scrape the nail’s surface.
- DO gently run a wooden or rubber manicure stick under your nails to keep them clean. This helps remove the dirt and build-up you may or may not be able to see.
- DO maintain the proper moisture balance of your feet’s skin by applying emollient-enriched moisturizer to keep soles soft.
- DO use a rubber cuticle pusher or manicure stick to gently push back cuticles.
- If toenails are healthy, DO use nail polish to paint toenails. Make sure to remove polish regularly using non-acetone nail polish remover.
Next: Pedicure Don’ts