Pedicures – The Journal

From: The Journal, April 27, 2009 By Angela Cummings Special to the Journal KEARNEYSVILLE -Old man winter can take a toll on your skin, often leaving it dry, flaky and itchy. It’s easy to forget about body parts that aren’t use to seeing the light of day during cold weather, but once barefoot season gets here you might be surprised at what you see when you look down. You may not have realized your toenails were that long or your heels were that rough. This may not only cause concern for esthetic reasons, but it’s not healthy to dismiss your feel when considering overall personal hygiene. “When you go so long without cleaning your feet, you get fungus and bacteria,” says Vi Nguyen, owner and operator of VIVO Hair Salon & Day Spa in Kearneysville. Once viewed as a seasonal luxury, pedicures are quickly becoming routine maintenance for women and men. Leslie Kelly of Charles Town says she regularly gets pedicures. “This time of year I try to get one every other month, then one around the holidays.” “(The nail technician) keeps the calluses down and it’s relaxing to be pampered a little bit,” says Kelly. Nguyen says that pedicures can be anything from a very basic cleansing, massage and nail trim to deluxe spa treatment with foot mask and paraffin clip. Any treatment can be specialized to meet each individual’s needs. Dr. Richard Rauch, a podiatrist at City Hospital, says that if anyone is a diabetic or vascularly compromised, he or she should been seen by a podiatrist. If someone is perfectly healthy but has extremely thick toenails – which may be caused by a fungus – or calluses and corns, he or she should still seek treatment from a podiatrist. “A fungus is an active infection and needs to be treated accordingly,” says Rauch. Some foot problems, like bunions, may tell a podiatrist that there is an underly ing bone deformity and/or something that needs medical attention, he adds. recommends that health compromised clientele — such as those with diabetes or peripheral vascular disease affecting the legs and feet — discuss pedicure options with their doctor and customize an appropriate procedure to guide your nail technician. And always let your techni cian know if you are diabetic. All sources agree that no one other than a podiatrist should ever cut the toenails, calluses or attempt to excise corns from the feet of a diabetic or anyone vascularly compromised. Rauch extends this recommendation to all elderly persons as well. “If you can’t see or reach your feet that well, see a podi atrist.” says Rauch. Another subject all sources agree on is to make sure you check the cleanliness of any establishment before getting a pedicure. All salons must be properly licensed and are inspected by the state. For example, Nguyen says they clean each spa tub after every client, using bleach and sanitabs. They are also soaked at the end of each day. All utensils are cleaned and sterilized in a UV sterilizer after each client; however, Nguyen suggests clients purchase and bring their own nail kits for extra protection from bacteria or cross-contamination. “You don’t have to purchase a kit, but we recommend it.” she says. Kit are around $35 and include a nail file, cuticle trimmer, cuticle pusher/nipper and buffer. Nguyen says they will even UV sterilize your personal kit for you, then you can take it home and bring it back with you the next time. Rauch cautions that women who like to have painted nails during sandal season should only wear polish for four to live days at a time. “Even though they’re hard, nails are living tissue and they need to have some air.” he says. For a safer and less invasive pedicure, you can always opt for the leg and foot cleansing, massage and warm towels to stimulate blood in the feet and hands. There aren’t many things that feel as wonderful as a good foot massage. “When my feet feel good, I feel good all over.” Nguyen says.