April 17, 2009

How to avoid painful pedicures

As summer returns, a U.S. podiatrist says a quick pedicure can leave longtime pain.

Dr. Tzvi Bar-David of New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City warns this professional grooming ritual can lead to difficulties such as painful nail fungus.

Toenail fungus infections can last for years if not treated properly, Bar-David said in a statement.

Bar-David suggests that to keep a pedicure problem-free to:

-- Avoid infection by bringing your own tools and nail clippers. This includes bringing your own sandals to avoid contracting fungi such as athlete's foot.

-- Avoid deep cuts. Do not let your pedicurist cut deep into the corners of your nails. Also ask your pedicurist to cut your nails straight across instead of curving the edges. This will help avoid ingrown nails.

-- Don't cut calluses. Use a pumice stone, instead. Also helpful is using a cream or lotion product with urea or a lactic acid derivative on the affected area twice a day. Dissolve thick or calloused skin by applying this lotion or cream and wrap the foot with plastic wrap and a sock.