How to Care for Your Feet and Toenails-Giving Yourself a Pedicure

Foot and Ankle in Houston

1. - Give your feet a pedicure every two weeks. - Painting them does not necessarily have to be part of every pedicure routine, but regular pedicures really make a difference in keeping your feet soft and free from dry and rough skin, and your toenails clean and neat.

You don't need to spend a lot of cash to have your pedicure professionally done in a salon, and with a few tools, you can do your own pedicure right in the comforts of your own home.

2. - Start with a foot massage. - If you’re on your feet a lot and they tend to be sore, massage them before you start your pedicure. While this step isn't absolutely necessary, it's a nice way to pamper yourself a little. If you're already taking time to give yourself a pedicure, why not?
Knead the soles. Use your thumbs to press into the soles of your feet in a circular kneading pattern. This well help loosen the tight muscles there.
Stretch the toes. One by one, gently pull your toes back and forth to stretch them out and ease tightness and soreness.

3. - Soak your feet for about 5 to 10 minutes in a large bowl with lukewarm water. - As an added treat, you may also wish to infuse the water with a few drops of essential oils or Dead Sea salts, to keep the feet smelling good and to soften hard skin respectively. The soaking time indicated here is merely just a suggestion you may choose to soak your feet for much longer if you want to relax, or if the hardened skin on your feet need extra hydration.
Exfoliate your feet with a foot scrub to slough off dry and dead skin, and to moisturize your feet as well. The skin on your feet is thicker, and to keep it soft and smooth it’s important to remove dead skin with exfoliation. Massage the scrub in circular motions, and rinse off afterward. To exfoliate the hardened skin on the heels and bottom part of the feet, use a foot file or a pumice stone. Make sure to use a gentle filing motion, and to never rub too hard. If you have tough callouses, try a callous shaver to remove them from your heels and the sides of your toes. This will prevent them from getting larger and causing pain.

4. - Attend to your toenails. - Trimming your nails while they're still soft from soaking makes the task much easier. Remember to trim them straight across, and not too short. Use an orange stick or a cuticle pusher to gently push your cuticles back toward your skin. Finally, rub some cuticle oil on your nails and cuticles to moisturize the area and keep your cuticles from tearing.
Cut your toenails straight across, as opposed to a curved shape, to prevent ingrown toenails from occurring. If you would really prefer a rounded shape instead of a straight square, use a nail file to smooth out the ridges and to give the edges a bit of a curve, so you would end up with a square shape with rounded edges. Ensure that the nails are cut and filed to just the right length short, but not too much that you end up hurting yourself.
Remember to include your cuticles too. While you shouldn't cut your cuticles, if desired, you can apply cuticle oil to your toenails to soften and moisturize the hardened edges, and push the cuticles back with an orangewood stick to create a smooth, open area ready for your polish. Make sure that you do not push too hard, or you might risk cutting the cuticles and exposing your feet to possible fungal infection. Some people also prefer to skip this step completely and leave their cuticles untouched this is okay as well.

5. - Moisturize your feet. - With all the wear and tear your feet experience, it's important to moisturize them from time to time. After you've soaked your feet, exfoliated your skin and trimmed your nails, use a lotion or cream to protect your skin. Rub it all over the top and bottom of your feet, including your toes.
If you have a tendency to get callouses, consider a very rich cream. This will keep your skin moist and slow the growth of more callouses.
If your heels tend to crack in dry weather, wear socks to bed after moisturizing.

6. - Apply nail polish if desired. - If you'd like to end your pedicure with a pretty final touch, apply the nail polish color of your choice. If you want a long-lasting pedicure, you might want to start with a clear base coat. Let that dry, then paint with the color you have chosen using the "three stroke method", which consists of using one stroke on each side and a stroke in the middle. This ensures that the polish is evenly applied on the whole nail. Finish with a clear top coat to set the polish in place and prevent it from chipping.
Use toe separators to keep your toes apart. This makes the process of painting easier, and prevents a freshly painted toenail from staining another toe.
Remove nail polish after a few days so it won’t stain. If you leave the polish on your toenails for too long, you might find that your nails look yellowed when you finally take it off. Acetone, the active ingredient in most nail polish removers, has a severe drying effect on skin and nails. Consider using a nail polish remover that doesn't contain acetone.


Source: Wikihow

RIVERA FOOT & ANKLE: At Orlando H.Rivera DPM, our priority is to deliver quality care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting. When you have problems with your feet, you need to turn to a podiatrist who listens and responds… an experienced doctor who knows the field and can effectively diagnose and treat your needs… a friendly physician who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your health. Our physician(s) meet all these criteria. Plus, you benefit from a dedicated team of trained professionals who give you the individualized attention you deserve.

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Foot and Ankle in Houston.

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