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TLC For Tired Toes

Feet. They do so much work for us. They take us everywhere we want to go, but they can also suffer a lot. During a typical day of walking, your feet experience a force equal to several hundred tons.

One of the best ways to refresh your tired toes is a pedicure - either at home or at the nail salon/spa. When your feet are taken care of, your whole body feels refreshed and relaxed.

According to a recent study of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 25% of women perform pedicures at home, while 34 percent have chosen salon or spa pedicures. No matter which option you choose, remember to do it safely. Below you can find some tips from  Dr. Marlene Reid, an APMA member podiatrist:

1. Take good care of your soles. Smooth away calluses on the heels, balls, and sides of your feet. Use a pumice stone, foot scrub, or a foot file. Combine olive oil and sea salt for your DIY scrub. Try not to use a foot razor, as it can remove too much skin and lead to infection or even permanent damage when used incorrectly.

2. Dry up your feet properly. Soak your feet first and then make sure to thoroughly rinse off the scrub or any other products and pat your feet dry. Watch out for moisture between the toes, as it can lead to athlete's foot or some other fungal infections.

3. Trim the tips. Your toenails should be trimmed to just above the top of each toe. Recommended use of a straight-edged toenail clipper so that your nails do not become curved or rounded in the corners.

4. Under-nail clean sweep. Use a wooden or rubber manicure stick under nails to remove any dirt trapped underneath. Remember to be very gentle and never use a sharp tool to clean under your nail, or you may puncture the skin, which may cause an infection.

5. Shape. Use an emery board to smooth nail edges by filing toenails. File lightly in one direction only to ease the nail edge without dramatically rounding the corners of the nail.

6. Cuticles care. A cuticle cream or hand cream is a great way to moisturize cuticles. Next, gently push them back with a manicure stick or a rubber cuticle pusher. Cuticles' role is to create a protective barrier against bacteria entering the body, so they should never be cut.

7. Polish. What nail polish does is it locks out moisture and doesn't allow the nail or the nail bed to breathe. Use nail polish only if your nails are healthy and remember to remove it regularly with a non-acetone nail polish remover.

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