Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pedicure Pointers For Prettier, Healthier Feet

(NAPSI)-An at-home pedicure can be an economical way to pamper yourself when preparing for a warm-weather event such as a wedding, graduation or outdoor party.

A survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) found that 73 percent of women groom their feet once a month and 41 percent of women moisturize. However, the survey also found that women tend to have more problems with their feet than men.

"Grooming your feet should be done frequently, as it promotes good foot hygiene and overall foot health," said Dr. Ronald Jensen, APMA president. "If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, consult with an APMA podiatrist to recommend a customized pedicure that you can follow for optimal foot health."

Here are a few pointers on achieving a proper, pampering, at-home pedicure:

• If you are giving yourself both a pedicure and manicure, be sure to use separate tools from those used for the manicure. This will help ensure that you don't transfer fungus and bacteria.

• Begin by soaking your feet in warm water. Stimulate circulation by massaging one foot at a time.

• Never use a razor to remove dead skin from the bottom of your feet. When eliminating skin build-up such as calluses, use a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub.

• When trimming nails, use a toenail clipper with a straight edge. Don't round the edges of your toenails. This type of shape increases your chance of developing painful, ingrown toenails.

• To smooth nail edges, use an emery board. File lightly in one direction only.

• To clean your nails, gently run a wooden or rubber manicure stick under your nails. Don't use sharp tools that could puncture your skin and leave it vulnerable to infection.

• Keep feet moisturized but don't leave moisturizer between toes. This can lead to the development of athlete's foot.

• Apply polish only if you have healthy nails. While it looks pretty, nail polish locks out moisture and keeps nails from breathing.

• If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, consult a podiatrist so he or she can recommend a customized pedicure that both you and your salon can follow for optimal health.

• On the eve of your special event, gently wrap cellophane around each foot to help lock in moisture. By morning, your feet will be soft and smooth.

For more information, visit www.apma.org.

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