Doing Home Pedicures Safely—Suggestions From a Wichita Podiatrist

While it’s certainly a treat to go to a salon for a relaxing pedicure, unfortunately, many places don’t follow proper hygiene and sanitizing practices. This increases your risk of developing bacterial and fungal foot infections. Follow these recommendations from Dr. Weaver at Central Kansas Podiatry Associates for a spa-like, do-it-yourself pedicure. 

10 Tips for Your Home Pedicure

Pedicures accomplish more than making your toenails pretty. Take this time to inspect your feet, ensuring there aren’t any cuts, corns, calluses, or ingrown nails. Spend a few minutes massaging them, too, as this increases circulation, which is beneficial to overall foot health.

  1. Remove any existing nail polish from the toenails using cotton pads or balls dampened with nail polish remover.
  2. Soften and clean the skin on the feet and toenails with a warm foot soak using soapy water.
  3. Gently scrub toenails using a soft nail brush, then rinse your feet with fresh, clear water. Dry thoroughly. 
  4. Rub a pumice stone or foot file along the areas of the foot that tend to become rough and callused from pressure, such as the heel and ball. This exfoliates layers of dead skin, leaving feet smooth. 
  5. Trim toenails straight across—but don’t cut them too short, as this might cause painful ingrown toenails. Then, smooth nail edges with a nail file, being sure to keep the nails edges straight across.
  6. Use an orange stick to gently push back the cuticles, but be careful not to tear or scrape them, which can lead to red, sore cuticles and infection. 
  7. Overgrown cuticles extending from the nail margins can be trimmed using an appropriate cuticle trimmer. Take care not to cut the cuticle too aggressively, which can cause ragged, torn cuticles, bleeding, and the risk of infection.
  8. Moisturize your feet and cuticles with cream or lotion, but don’t add it between the toes. Remove leftover lotion from around the nails with a cotton ball or pad. 
  9. Now, massage the feet to soothe aches and ease tension. Do this by hand or use any number of massage tools, such as a ball or bottle. 
  10. If you choose to paint your toenails, use a three-step polish process: base coat, color, and top coat. Allow ample time for it to dry before putting on socks and shoes.

The American Podiatric Medical Association offers more tips for proper pedicure procedures.

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