Doing your own pedicures at home can avoid catching a fungus or infection of the feet or toes. Although pedicures are relaxing, many salons do not maintain proper hygiene and sanitizing practices, which can allow bacteria and fungi to grow in foot baths and on pedicure instruments.
Here are the simple steps to an at-home, do-it-yourself pedicure:
- Remove any existing nail polish from the toenails using cotton pads or balls wet with nail polish remover.
- Soften and clean the skin on the feet and toenails with a warm foot soak using soapy water; gently scrub the toenails using a soft nail brush, then rinse the feet with fresh, clear water.
- Rub a pumice stone or foot file along the areas of the foot that tend to become rough and callused from pressure, such as the heel and ball. This will exfoliate away layers of dead skin, leaving the skin on the feet soft and smooth.
- Trim toenails straight across and do not cut them too short, as it can lead to painful ingrown toenails. Then, smooth the nail edge with a nail file, being sure to keep the nals edges straight across.
- Use an orange stick to gently push back the cuticles, but be careful not to tear or scrape them, which can lead to infection and red, sore cuticles. Overgrown cuticles that extend from the nail margins can be trimmed using an appropriate cuticle trimmer; again, care must be taken not to cut the cuticle too aggressively, which can cause ragged, torn cuticles along with bleeding and the risk of infection.
- Moisturize the feet and cuticles with cream or lotion, then massage the feet to soothe aches and ease tension. Rolling feet on top of a round cylinder like a bottle is an effective way to massage them.
- Remove left-over lotion from the toenails using cotton balls or pads dampened with nail polish remover. Make sure there are not traces of cotton left on the nail, as they could stick to the nail polish. Finally, apply nail polish (base coat, color, and top coat) and allow ample time for it to dry before putting on socks and shoes.