Increased media attention has heightened awareness for the spread of infections from shared instruments and unhygienic practices in some nail salons. One way to avoid any exposure is to do pedicures for yourself at home. Here are some easy steps to follow that will make sure to keep your feet safe:
1. Soak your feet in warm soapy water for approximately 10 minutes. This helps soften and clean skin and nails.
2. After the foot soaking, gently rub the skin with a pumice stone or emery board. This gets rid of dead skin cells and calluses. Some body scrub products can help exfoliate dead skin. (Please contact our office if you have deep calluses or corns and need help shaving them.)
3. Push back the cuticles with an orange stick or a Hindu stone. Cuticles offer protection from bacteria and infection. Cuticles clearly overhanging the nail margins need to be carefully trimmed. Do not trim any further than the nail margin.
4. Trim toenails so they are comfortable. Trim the nail back to where it is attached to the nail bed being sure to trim the nail all the way across. Be sure not to cut the skin or nail bed around the nail.
5. Smooth the nail edge with an emery board.
6. Apply cream and moisturizing lotion to the skin and nail margins.
7. Massage the cream or lotion into the feet. A foot massage can help relieve tension and tired, aching feet. You can get a good massage at home by rolling your feet back and forth over a rolling pin or bottle.
8. Apply nail polish remover to the nails to gently remove excess lotion. This allows nail polish to adhere better to the nail. To apply nail polish, start with a base coat, followed by one or two coats of the nail color, and, finally, a clear topcoat.
9. Any injury to the skin or nail bed around nail should be treated with an application of triple antibiotic ointment/cream. If you are diabetic or have poor circulation seek immediate medical attention.