Any decent home pedicure setup should have the following products and tools:
- Some non-acetone polish remover
- Aromatherapy oils (optional)
- Emollient moisturizer
- A toenails scrubbing brush
- Pumice stones, callus files and emery boards
- Stainless steel nail clippers
- A cuticle pusher or orange stick
- 4lbs of food-grade paraffin wax
- A double boiler or small paraffin wax bath
- A reliable candy thermometer (optional)
- Pairs of socks (optional)
- Cling wrap (optional)
- Some extra towels
Step 1: Remove Toenail Polish
Removing any remaining or old nail polish allows you to properly see the condition of your toenails and identify any problems, like onychomycosis (nail fungi) or hangnails. Use a non-acetone polish remover for better safety as removers containing acetone are harsh on nails and can cause a thinning of the nail plate and the formation of ridges over time.
You should periodically give your toenails some time without nail polish as discoloration can occur over time. If the nails do change color, leave them bare for a few of weeks and they should go back to normal.
Step 2: Soak Your Feet
A relaxing foot soak for 15 to 20 minutes is amazing, especially after a long day on your feet. Use aromatherapy oils in the water if you like. A foot soak loosens dry scales and softens the thick, hardened layers around your feet.
Use warm water, not hot water. Hot water will dry your feet out. Use a toenail brush to gently scrub your toenails post soak.
Step 3: File Down Calluses/Corns
After a foot soak, use a pumice stone, emery board, or callus file to gently reduce the size of corns and calluses. It may take a few trimmings before you are able to remove all of the hardened skin, but take care not to cut or file the skin too deeply.
Removing calluses can help prevent cracks from forming. Remember that you are only trying to remove dead skin cells, not healthy tissue.
Step 4: Trim Toenails
Use a stainless steel nail clipper to trim your toenails. Cut the toenails straight across and then gently round the corners with an emery board to avoid cutting them too short.
Push the cuticles back carefully. Most dermatologists will tell you that there is no good reason to cut your cuticles (also known as the eponychium). Cutting cuticles not only increases the risk of splitting and bleeding but also leaves your feet more susceptible to bacteria and fungus.
Step 5: Try a Wax Treatment (optional)
Paraffin wax treatments soften the skin of feet. The warm wax increases blood flow and opens up the pores, for better moisture absorption. Paraffin wax baths are available online and at retailers, usually in the $30-$70 price range.
During a wax bath, when the wax has begins to cool, wrap your feet in a towel to hold in the therapeutic heat for a period.
Step 6: Moisturize + Massage Your Feet
To wrap up your home foot spa treatment, apply some emollient moisturize after the paraffin wax treatment is done. Your softened tissue will absorb the lotion better and ensure suppler and more hydrated skin.
Gently massage your feet while applying some lotion, focusing on the toe joints and the arch. This is really helpful if you have plantar fasciitis.
After applying lotion and massaging, put on a pair of socks to ensure better absorption of the lotion.
And finally here are some more helpful hints if you have…
Athlete’s foot: Apply an antifungal ointment, lotion or powder, which are available without a prescription.
Nail fungus: A topical antifungal like Lamisil or medicated nail polish will help rid your feet of this. Tea Tree Oil is a natural remedy you can try also.
Foot perspiration: Because excessive perspiration can lead to odor and fungal growth, treat it with powders or a shoe spray. A shoe insert with activated charcoal is a possible solution too.
If there’s one last thing to leave you with then it’s these. Wear shoes you can actually wear and be comfortable in and see a doctor if foot problems persist or worsen.