When To Visit A Podiatrist vs. Pedicurist
Ask yourself, would you go and see your primary care doctor for a tooth problem? No! You would go and see dentist. So why would you go to a beauty salon for a foot problem?
So how does a podiatrist differ to a pedicurist and when should you seek their help?
The most common foot complaints podiatrists come across are corns, calluses, in-growing toe nails and verrucae. Podiatrists are experts when it comes to these conditions, and being a regulated professional body, they ensure that all of the treatments they carry out are evidence based, and undertaken safely with strict infection control.
These days, podiatrists see more and more cases of damaged nails and fungal infections caused by traditional nail varnishes. This is due to the cocktail of harmful chemicals within them such as formaldehyde (a preservative), toluene (a solvent), parabens (synthetic preservatives) and camphor (which gives a glossy finish and prevents chipping) – all of which can make the nails dry, brittle and discoloured.
One can avoid this kind of damage by limiting the amount of time they wear polish on your nails and give them a break in-between coats. Podiatrists recommend patients to change their polish every 10 days, and go without it for a few days before re-applying nail colour.
If the thought of going bare-nailed for more than a few days fills you with horror, you may want to consider gentler products. Podiatrist-formulated nail polish brands such as Dr Remedy contain a blend of wheat protein, tea tree oil, garlic bulb extract, lavender and vitamin C and E, which makes them suitable for diabetics, pregnant women and even vegans. The bottles also look a lot like Chanel if you shop with your eyes.
So should you swear against your monthly pedicure for good? Definately not.
But, there are several things to look for when seeking a pedicurist.
1. Make sure the metal tools used at salon are sterilised between each client, a new blade is used when removing hard skin; and that they are never used for more than one person.
2. Be aware of bad forms of pedicure practices such as excessively cutting the skin from around the cuticle. This is dangerous as it doesn’t actually remove the cuticle, just the hyponechium which is the hard skin that protects the nail bed. When this is removed it can lead to severe infections.
3. A professional nail technician should also perform an initial consulation with a client, to ensure their feet are healthy. They should be checking for possible fungal infections, ringworm, bacterial infections and some skin conditions such as psoriasis. Should any of the above be identified by a nail technician, the technician should refere the client to a podiatrist.
4. Do see a podiatrist and not a pedicurist if you have a compromised immune system due to a condition such as diabetes, HIV, or have a vascular disease or circulation problems.
Top tips on keeping your feet beautiful this summer:
- Moisturise your feet daily with a high urea-content cream. This will help increase blood flow and keep them looking lovely.
- When using nail polish, ensure you prep the nails properly and always use a good base and top coat. This will help it last longer and stop the polish from staining.
- Use cuticle oil to hydrate dried-out cuticles. Apply twice a day for best results.
- Prevent and treat dry, cracked heels with a foot file or emery board. Avoid pumice stones as they are very unhygienic.
- Invest in a good pair of quality nail clippers and follow the contour of the nail when you trim. Never dig down the sides of the nail as this can cause in grown toe nails. File them if you find it easier.
Dr. Zinoviy Rabinovich D.P.M., Board Certified Physician and Surgeon of Foot and Ankle – a doctor who is on time, who looks at and listens to you and not the computer, who provides immediate relief and follows through to complete satisfaction. Experience, expertise, convenience of scheduling, evening hours, and a personal innovative approach for all your and your children’s foot care needs. Northbrook 847-297-9660, Crest Hill 815-838-9505 or book online at www.absolutefootandankleclinic.com.