Going to the salon for a pedicure can be a fun and relaxing experience, as long as you know that the shop is clean. When you do visit a nail salon, make sure that they sanitize their tools and foot basins and keep their licensing up to date (check the walls for posted licenses).

But if you’re on a budget or simply don’t have the time to get to a salon, treat yourself to a pedicure at home! Most people can enjoy safe and healthy do-it-yourself pedicures, with the possible exception of those with diabetes. If you’re diabetic, you know that your feet need special care, so before any pedicure, check with Dr. Kenneth R. WilhelmClifton Foot & Ankle Center’s board-certified podiatrist, to make sure you’re cleared for a safe experience.

Simple steps for an at-home pedicure

  1. Get a clean start Take off any nail polish with nail polish remover and a cotton ball. Then soak your feet in warm, soapy water. If you have a soft nail brush, scrub your toenails gently to remove stubborn dirt.
  2. Smooth everything out Check your whole foot – especially the ball, tops of toes, and heels – for any calluses. Calluses are just dead layers of skin and can be gently rubbed away using a foot file or pumice stone after several minutes of soaking. Some calluses may need more than one encounter with the pumice stone before disappearing. If they’re really large and troublesome, make an appointment to have Dr. Wilhelm check them out.
  3. Shape those toes With toenail clippers especially made for toenails, start trimming your nails taking special care not to cut them too short or on a curve. Always cut them straight across in order to prevent ingrown toenails. Use a nail file to buff the edges of your toenails to a smooth finish.
  4. Soothe your whole foot Gently massage your feet (here’s where a partner could step in to help!), with moisturizing cream. Use your hands, a muscle roller stick, or even a bottle to relieve muscle tension.
  5. Add some color Polish your clean, dry nails with a base coat, your favorite color, and a top coat.

Save money and avoid the possibility of infection by pampering your feet and toes at home rather than at a salon. For more information about all aspects of foot and toenail care, contact us at our office in Centreville, VA at (703) 996-3000.

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