The Health Benefits of Pedicures

Shannon Farrell
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Echo / Getty

Echo / Getty

When you schedule appointments that are beneficial to your health, a pedicure is normally not on the list. You think of it as a spa servicean indulgence you treat yourself to. But a pedicure is so much more. You only get one set of feet in your lifetime, right? Then you gotta give them the proper care and yes, that means a spa appointment. Below, experts spill the health benefits of pedicures.

Pedis prevent infection.
If you’re not prone to moisturize your feet daily, a pedicure is an important source of moisture. “Moisturizing your feet prevents cracks from forming and causing infections,” says board certified podiatrist Dr. Alan Bass. To get much-needed hydration between appointments, use a foot cream like Weleda Foot Balm ($13.50).

Stop calluses in their tracks.
The extra moisture also helps to remove and prevent calluses. A callus is the body’s way of protecting itself, says Dr. Bass. “Areas of friction will protect itself from forming calluses, but with repeated friction [i.e. walking, working out] and inattention to those areas, the skin can break down and lead to sores or ulcerations.” Um, can we skip that forever?

Encourages a healthier lifestyle.
While it’s rumored that a foot massage can enhance circulation, Dr. Bass says that it’s an indirect—but still effective—cause.”By allowing a patient to feel better about his/her feet, it will allow them to exercise and thus, improve circulation.” (Okay, we’ll take it!)

Pedicures = healthier joints?
Massages and warm wateryou know, just like you’d get in a pedicuredo help with joint health, adds cardiologist Dr. James Rippe, editor ofAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. “[With a foot massage] you are putting all of your joints through a full range of motion to help decrease stiffness. Soaking feet in warm water can also help relieve stress on joints and temporarily subside side pain.” In between appointments he recommends Osteo Bi-Flex, a daily supplement that helps strengthens and lubricate joints.

However, not just any pedicure will do!
Not all spas are created equal. Many pedicure practices do more harm than good. “I recommend staying away from salons using jetted tubs, as they are not able to be properly cleaned,” says manicurist Brandi Phillips from Frenchies Modern Nail Care. Brandi also recommends readers stay away from cheese graters or Credo foot files (which are more intense than the normal 120 grit foot files), because “the intense exfoliation from those tools creates small openings or cuts on your foot, which can cause the spread of infection.”

And just like cuticles shouldn’t be cut in a manicure, the same is true for a pedi. According to Department of Regulatory Agencies regulations, nail technicians may trim away the dead hanging skin around the nail plate and cuticle area, but not the cuticle itself. No live tissue should ever be cut with any cutting tool unless you are a specialized physician.

And in terms of maintenance, never let polish linger too long. “Polish left on for extended periods of time can lead to onychomycosis, a nail fungus,” says Dr. Bass.

More from Daily Makeover: 7 Tricks to Keep Your Feet Pretty Through Winter

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