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Houston, TX 77043
713-467-8886
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Posts for tag: Pedicures

By Dr. Jeffrey N Bowman
July 28, 2013
Category: Foot Health

The stress has reached a level you can no longer stand and all you can think about is how soothing a good pedicure would be. The weekend is upon you and so you schedule a pedicure with the hope of complete relaxation. Besides, what could possibly go wrong?

LOTS!!!

Let’s look at a few of the possibilities.

  • Most places use a pumice stone or a Ped Egg type device to shave those irritable and disgusting calluses. There is nothing wrong in doing so, but the problem comes when the calluses are shaved too aggressively. This can create a portal for bacteria or fungus to enter and cause all sorts of havoc, especially for diabetics.

 

  • Many spas use different types of solutions and chemicals to cleanse or soak your feet. Any of these chemicals/solutions can cause skin irritation.
  • As has been discussed in a prior blog, there is always a risk of developing an ingrown toenail from improper trimming. Whoever is cutting your nails may not understand the proper way to trim a nail or may be too aggressive, again increasing your chance of an ingrown.
  • Instrumentation may not be sterilized and can thus pass on fungal or bacterial cells to you. Fungus is easily transmittable from one person to another. These organisms can live for days on objects, especially if not properly cleaned.

 

I am in no way against pedicures and the associated spa treatments available. I only encourage you to be cognizant of the potential risks, and research any spa or nail salon you want to visit prior to receiving any treatment. Or talk to Dr. Bowman about a product in his office called Baby Feet which is safe and simple. Dr. Bowman is always willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the health of your feet and can be contacted by calling 713-467-8886. You can also request an appointment online.

Photo Credit: Maggie Smith - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dr Bowman, what makes feet sexy?” I was posed this question recently by a patient in her 40’s and having never really thought about it, I had to give it some thought.

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”- Leonardo da Vinci

The first question I always get when telling someone I am a foot doctor..."Oh, you must have a foot fetish?"

No, No, NO! Unlike NY Jets' head football coach Rex Ryan, who admitted he loves a sexy foot, I do not find feet attractive! I'll answer why I entered podiatry in another blog.

Whether by fetish or simply a desire to not gross others out in flip-flops with disgusting feet, it is important to know how to get sexy feet.

There are three main parts to making a foot sexy:

1) Sexy Skin

The Worlds' most beautiful people all go to great extremes to have great skin. Their goal is to give skin a fresh, young look. Smooth, youthful skin can help make the foot look more attractive as well. The biggest challenge in the foot is keeping the skin from drying out. There are different products used to help either moisturizer or exfoliate the skin. Moisturizing creams seem to be less effective in the feet because of the thickness of the foot skin. Moisturizers do not penetrate as well here as they do in the face, arms or body. Nonetheless, repetitive use of moisturizers can help MAINTAIN, healthy skin. The more effective way to get dry skin to smooth baby-bottom skin is through the use of exfoliators. Podiatrists often recommend urea based skin creams to help remove some of the superficial dead, dry skin. Much like dermatologists' treatment in the face, the goal is to remove this superficial layer to expose the young, smooth, vibrant skin below.

The newest form of foot exfoliation is very similar to a dermatologist’s treatment, a chemical peel! Baby Foot is a new brand of all natural oils and extracts that acts as a chemical peel for your feet. Your foot is placed in a Baby Foot "bootie" for one hour. The foot is then rinsed and dried. Within days the outer most layer of skin painlessly peels of revealing that baby's bottom smooth skin underneath. Dr. Bowman carries this and other products available in his office.

The next big complaint among those who deem their feet as “ugly” are varicose veins. Having noticeable large veins on top of the foot is considered normal and healthy. The veins of complaint are the tiny, "spider" veins. These occur as the large veins are over worked and blood has to use smaller vessels to travel through the foot and leg. The conservative way to treat these is by way of compression garments that segmentally apply pressure to the foot and legs to help those weaker veins. Newer aggressive treatments have come out by way of laser treatments. The lasers work by shrinking the vein tissue and causing blood that distends the vein to go elsewhere. This can lead to recurrence of the veins, but is a great option to get rid of them as they appear. Another option is injection into the smaller vessels with a sterile type of water.

Other skin problems like warts, moles, etc. can easily be removed with very small, less invasive techniques.

2) Nice Nails-

"Why is this one nail thick and discolored?" this question arises every so often in my experience. The most common answer is either a little trauma to the nail (stumped on bed post in the middle of the night) or a fungal infection. A little blue, black or red is usually traumatic and will go away in time. The yellow discoloration and thickening is fungus and needs treatment. Topical creams, lacquers and oral pills are the most effective way to treat the fungus. Emory boards can be used to decrease thickness.

How can you make healthy nails look even better? While many women (and some men) insist on monthly pedicures, most podiatrists recommend selecting the facility with caution and giving guidance on “do's and don’ts”. Many pedicure salons use recycled water for treatment and do not have medical grade autoclave machines to clean their instrumentation. The result is bringing patients in to offices in droves for infected ingrown toenails. These can be treated with topical or oral medications or by a pain free laser procedure that has been proven to be most effective. Takes approx. 20-30 minutes for all nails.

How do you give your pedicurist direction? Make sure the pedicurist cuts your nails straight across and not angled at the sides as this can lead to ingrown nails. Advise them to be less aggressive when digging around the side of your nails so as to not create a groove that the nail will grow into. Pick a clean nail salon and ask about their chairs, water and how they clean their instruments. Once you pick it-stick with it. Do not bounce around to a new one each month or you will pick up an infection. The best advice is to have your Podiatrist do your pedicures. Many offices have their own certified pedicurist, and they use the best instruments and products on the market. Dr. Bowman and your local podiatrist carry special nail polish in all the latest colors to help prevent the fungus.

3) Foot "curves"-

The foot having good anatomical structure can also lead to a "pretty" vs. "ugly" foot. Prominent bones (likes bunions) or hammertoes can be unpleasant. Can podiatrists do for the foot what plastic surgeons do for the face? Yes, and with less risks and side effects! In general, surgery is not recommended unless to alleviate pain or disease. These unsightly "curves" do often tend to be painful as well. Minor outpatient procedures can correct structural deformities and make the foot look much more attractive. This should be discussed with your local podiatrist.

Historically, there are known to be different normal foot types. Egyptian, Roman and Greek, depending on the length of the toes and long bones. Which type is "prettier"? The ancient Chinese used to bind the feet of their daughters to inhibit growth, so as to remain dainty and feminine. Oh the lengths people take for sexy feet!

People will go to great lengths and great pain to have the look they desire. Today we are much simpler in what defines a sexy foot. As to whether or not it matters, is all up to you!

Call Dr. Jeffrey Bowman of Houston Foot Specialists to discuss any concerns you have about your feet or ankles. He can be reached at 713-467-8886 or online appointments at www.houstonfootspecialists.com.

This is a common question for most podiatrists.  Let’s start with the basics.  A lot of diabetic patients have a condition called Neuropathy or LOPS (loss of protective sensation) and have no feeling to their feet.  Any cut or scrape no matter how minor can lead to devastating results for a diabetic with these conditions because they are often not aware of it due to the lack of feeling.

As you know the feet are the foundation of the body.  We all know what happens if the foundation of our house is off, walls crack, doors and windows stick the results can also be devastating.  The same goes for your feet.  While a pedicure feels good and may be relaxing as a diabetic you are more susceptible to getting an infection that can lead to serious consequences such as bone infections or what we call Osteomyelitis.  Too many diabetics from a simple cut can end up with this type of infection and leads to IV antibiotics or even amputation.

People with well controlled diabetes can enjoy pedicures but need to reduce the risks.  First, tell the pedicurist that you have diabetes; this simple information will help them to be the most careful.  Have your own set of instruments that you take with you every time.   This helps to reduce spread of infection and Dr. Bowman will be glad to let you know what you need.  Some salons state they sterilize their instruments but be wary of this. Feet can be soaked but never in hot water and if you have cracks in your skin this should be seen by a podiatrist.  When having the nails trimmed be sure to remind them to cut them straight across and never let them “dig out” an ingrown nail.   If the nails are discolored or abnormally thick this may be a nail infection called Onychomycosis and should not be thinned by the pedicurist. Nail polish could hide a nail infection so be sure to look at them carefully before new polish is applied.  No sharp instruments should be used to remove callous or corns on the toes, leave this to your Podiatric Physician.  

Diabetics tend to have thinner skin and slower circulation thus, making you susceptible to infection so be sure to see a Podiatrist at least 3-4 times a year and if you suspect an infection, call right away.

Diabetic education is of extreme importance and Dr. Bowman can educate you on what you need to know and look out for.  You can contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886, or visit the website and see our educational videos on diabetes at www.houstonfootspecialists.com

Pedicures have grown in popularity over the years. Now that its spring, a lot of women break out the sandals and want those toes looking good. Gel nail polish is all the rage. Why? It lasts up to two weeks, or longer, without chipping and peeling.  After the salon applies the polish it has to dry in UV light to cure.  That is the danger.

The UV light is blamed for an increased risk of skin cancer.  The skin cancer is usually found around the tissue surrounding the nail or on the toes, but can affect the whole foot. If skin cancer is suspected, a biopsy will be performed.  The most common form of skin cancer in this area is squamous cell carcinoma.

If a patient insists on getting a gel nail polish pedicure, Dr. Bowman recommends the patient apply sunscreen to the feet that is SPF 50 or higher at least 30 minutes prior to the salon appointment.

It is always a good idea to check your feet for any new growths and check between the toes as well.  If you notice something new or that has changed, see your podiatrist right away.

Contact Dr. Bowman if you have any questions or concerns at 713-467-8886 or visit our website.



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1140 Business Center Drive
Houston, TX 77043

Podiatrist - Houston, Houston Foot Specialists, 1140 Business Center Drive, Houston TX, 77043 713-467-8886