Saturday, November 28, 2015

Safe Nail Care For Arthritis Sufferers

 Arthritis is a painful inflammation of the joints that limits everyday activities.  There are more than one hundred types of arthritis.  The most common is osteoarthritis that is due to damage caused by trauma or general wear and tear.  Another form is rheumatoid arthritis resulting from an overactive immune system.  This kind can cause pain throughout the entire body.  Conditions and illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, Lyme disease and tendonitis are all related to arthritis.
     Arthritis is the most common chronic illness in the United States, affecting men, women and children.    For many people, arthritis is simply an annoyance that brings some local pain, stiffness, tenderness and swelling that over-the-counter analgesics and creams usually relieve.  For others, it’s much more severe, causing swelling, deformed joints and crippling pain that seriously affect their everyday lives.

Cartilage acts as a shock absorber to keep the joint flexible and give it a smooth range of motion.  When the cartilage begins to wear away, the mobility of the joint is damaged.  The body tries to compensate by producing a substance called “synovial fluid” that lubricates the joint.  The problem is that the area surrounding the joint becomes swollen with fluid and this restricts motion. 

 Any disease that restricts circulation in the hands and feet will also affect the nails.  If a person’s hands and fingers are swollen or twisted because of arthritis, that can cause changes in the nails as well.  Arthritis treatment medications can often cause nail pitting or the formation of horizontal lines across the nail bed.

For years, physicians and therapists have prescribed paraffin treatments for pain relief, primarily to treat arthritis sufferers.  Because the lightweight, flexible wax provides heat and softens skin, it’s also ideal for use in manicures and pedicures.  Many women over the age of 40 are dealing with some degree of arthritis in their hands and feet.  Arthritis affects some 40 million Americans, and that number is expected to double in the next 20 years. 

Many arthritis sufferers enjoy having manicures and pedicures under the care of a gentle professional licensed manicurist.  Arthritis can leave hands disfigured so having attractive nails can help offset a low self-image.  Also, the person may be dealing with a lot of pain so providing an improved self-image is of great benefit.  A soothing warm wax solution treatment leaves skin feeling rejuvenated, soft, and healthy. 

Arthritis is one of many age and stress-related hand and foot problems.  There are increasing numbers of diabetic, senior, and immune-compromised people opting to get pedicures.  It is therefore necessary to find a salon that will provide a safe and sanitary pedicure.  A caring professional nail technician can provide arthritic clients with therapies that include warm wax treatments and gentle hand and foot massage.  These gentle services can provide temporary pain relief, improve self-image, reduce stress, improve joint movement, relax tense muscles and stimulate blood flow.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Keeping Cuticles Healthy

       The cuticle is a layer of dead, transparent skin that attaches itself to the nail plate as it sloughs off the underside of the eponychium.  The eponychium is living skin that surrounds the nail plate.  The function of the eponychium is to protect the nail matrix (growth center).  Trimming disturbs the function of the eponychium causing the body to react with a self-defense mechanism.  In this case, it will replace the cut tissue with thicker, harder material. 
     Together, the cuticle and eponychium form a barrier that protects the nail matrix from becoming infected.  But the boundary between the (dead) cuticle and the (live) eponychium is frequently difficult to discern. 
     Cuticles should not be thick and hard but soft, pliable and moist.  Cutting dry, hardened skin may provide a quick fix, but it leaves the matrix vulnerable to bacteria.  The hardened skin can split; causing ragged hangnails that can become infected.  It is not good to cut or nip the cuticles.  The more aggressively the skin is removed; the faster the body will replace it.  Cutting the cuticles may scar the eponychium or cause infections that may harm the surrounding tissue or the nail bed.  Hangnails may be nipped.  Dead skin-tags may be nipped.  Living tissue should not be nipped. 
     Healthy cuticles are a goal of every good professional manicurist.  First, the eponychium is softened in order to make it pliable.  This is done with a soak in penetrating warm lavender and grape-seed oil or a warm mitt vitamin E lotion treatment.  Instead of being trimmed, the eponychium is reduced with an alpha-hydroxy cream cuticle remover.  The cream breaks down the bonds between the dry skin cells and makes them easy to remove with a stainless steel pusher/curette or a crystal cuticle pumice stone.  The dry skin is easily removed with the pusher/curette or cuticle pumice stone as the eponychium is gently pushed back.  Any skin that is loose, standing up, or rough can be cut or nipped. 
     A professional manicure every now and then is not enough to keep the nails and cuticles in good condition.  Home maintenance is an important factor in the recovery process for dry cuticles.  The most important aspect of home cuticle maintenance is to keep the cuticles pliable and moisturized.  Daily use of a lotion that contains vitamin E will accelerate the eponychium’s exfoliation rate and will prevent dry skin cells from building up.  Daily use of penetrating cuticle oil, such as jojoba, grape-seed, eucalyptus, lavender, almond or peach oil, along with vitamin E lotion will produce a noticeable improvement of dry cuticles in approximately two weeks. 
     You can have healthy, well-groomed cuticles, but regular at-home maintenance requires discipline.  A licensed nail care professional can design a personalized at-home maintenance program that will help you with that discipline.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Treating Nail Fungus Infections

     Microscopic fungi organisms called dermatophytes cause Onychomycosis (nail fungus).  These same organisms cause athlete’s foot.  The dermatophytes organisms grow, spread, and thrive in warm moist environments such as a person’s socks and shoes.  Some people have inherited tendencies that make them more susceptible to developing nail fungus infections, and they contract it with mild, moderate or severe symptoms. 
     Many women develop fingernail fungus infections while wearing acrylic nail enhancements.  If acrylic nail enhancements are maintained using unsanitized manicure equipment then nail fungus is spread from person to person.  It is important to make sure that your nail tech always sanitizes the drill bits, files, dusting brushes and table tops between each client.  Whirlpool pedicure thrones that are not adequately cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected will also spread toenail fungus infections.
     Symptoms of nail fungus infections are discoloration, brittleness, foul odor, loss of luster and shine, thickening, distortion of nail shape, painful nail beds, crumbling of the nail plate, debris collecting under the nail, and loosening (detaching) of the nails.  Early mild fungus infections include discolorations such as white spots, light brown or yellowish brown.  Moderate nail fungus discolorations include dark yellow, yellow-green or yellow-brown.  Severe or advanced nail fungus, which has been chronic for years, will usually include very dark brown or black colors, very thick distorted nails, crumbling, debris collecting under the nails and a detaching of the nail plate from the nail bed. 
     Treatment of nail fungus infections varies depending on the severity of each case.  If the fungus has severely penetrated both the nail plate and the nail bed, treatment can require twelve to twenty-four months to completely cure.  Medical doctors can treat severe cases of fungus with oral prescription medications such as Sporonox or Lamisil tablets.  Unfortunately, there are possible side effects of liver damage, heart arrhythmias and bone marrow damage. 
     The good news is that mild or moderate nail fungus infections can often be treated with a convenient topical liquid drops containing thymol, lavender and tea tree oil.  The drops are simply applied to the nails twice daily for 3-12 months.  Untreated nail fungus infections can spread—from toe to toe, finger to finger, or person to person—and it rarely goes away by itself.  Untreated fungus infections will cause the nails to detach and fall off and may also cause pain and permanent nail plate damage leaving them ragged and distorted.
     It is wise to get an evaluation appointment from a podiatrist or medical doctor if you suspect that you have a nail fungus infection.  It’s beneficial to get monthly professional pedicures at a quality nail salon staffed by a licensed nail technician that always follows state guidelines for safe sanitation and disinfection procedures.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Help For Aging Hands & Feet

     As you age, the skin on your hands tends to become dry and fragile.  Veins become more pronounced, age spots appear and the hands become thinner and less fleshy. 
     As you grow older, it is common for brown age spots to appear on the backs of the hands.  Age spots, sometimes known as liver spots, are due to melanin producing cells clumping together.  Age spots may be worsened by exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.  Manicures using vitamins C, E, and alpha-hydroxy acids can help fade brown age spots. 
     The backs of the hands are often the first place where skin starts to age.  Moisturize your hands in the morning and evening, and after immersing your hands in water.  Moisturizer is absorbed into the skin most quickly when it is warm, electric lotion warmers are great for this purpose. 
     As you age, your nails may thicken and become ridged.  They may get brittle and break or split.  Wear a clear nail strengthener polish to protect your nails against everyday wear and tear.  If applying color polish, always use a basecoat to prevent staining your nails.  Apply a topcoat every other day to prevent chipping. 
     Arthritis in the hands can cause pain as well as restricted movement as you grow older.  Warm lotion manicures, gentle hand massage, warm paraffin dips, and heated mitts can all help to relieve stiffness and arthritis pain. 
     Years of wear and tear combined with poorly fitting shoes can damage your feet as they grow older.  Good foot care is an important investment in your mobility – present and future.  Problems such as dry skin, calluses, ingrown toenails, or fungus infections should be treated as soon as possible.  Consistent professional pedicures once a month help to insure that your feet stay healthy as you age. 
     Corns and calluses are caused by friction between shoes and the bony areas of the foot.  Corns and calluses are more likely to appear as the bony parts of the foot become less padded.  Pedicures using alpha-hydroxy will safely reduce thick-callused skin. 
     Ingrown toenails occur most commonly on the big toes.  To avoid causing ingrown toenails, be sure the toenails are cut square across.  Sharp-toed shoes often cause ingrown toenails.  Always wear properly fitting shoes. 
     Nail fungus infections often affect people over age 40.  Fungus infections can be caused by the entry of microscopic fungi through a small trauma.  Fungus causes nails to become discolored and thickened.  Mild or moderate fungus can be treated by applying a topical liquid containing thymol twice a day. 
      To prevent circulatory foot problems make sure your socks do not impede circulation.  Avoid sitting with one leg crossed over the other and sit with your feet raised when possible. 
      If you need help with aging hands and feet then see a professional licensed nail technician and skin care specialist.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Senior Foot Care and Maintenance

     Foot maintenance is important for everyone.  But for seniors, foot care is critical.  Lack of proper maintenance can result in conditions that can only be helped by a physician or a podiatrist.

     Foot problems are more common in the elderly than in the general population.  Conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, corns, ingrown toenails, fungus, arthritis, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) take years to develop.

     Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis resulting from the chronic wear of bones and joints.

     Bunions are characterized by a large accumulation of extra bone behind the big toe on the inside border of the foot.

     Hammertoes result from the “bucking up” of the small joints of the toes.  A thickening of these joints often results at the knuckles and can cause corns to form.  As the top of the toe rubs against the top of the shoe, it irritates the side and stimulates the growth of a corn.  Soaking the feet in warm water and Epsom salts is an effective method of alleviating discomfort.  Lavender and grape-seed oil warm wax treatments are also good for easing the pain associated with these conditions.

     Ingrown toenails are sometimes due to a genetic tendency. But more often, ingrown toenails are caused by improperly fitting footwear and improper nail trimming.  Toenails should be trimmed straight across and the corners rounded and smoothed.  The corners of the nails should not have any sharp edges.

      Ingrown toenails can become infected when the nail plate grows into the flesh of the toe and acts like a foreign body.  Signs of infection of ingrown toenails are pain, redness, swelling and yellow or white drainage.  If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor or podiatrist as soon as possible to get the infection treated.

     Dry skin increases the chances of developing a foot infection.  As we age, oil-producing glands slow down production, causing skin to become thin and dry.  Dry skin also has less strength than moist skin, so it runs an increased risk of cracking.  Keeping the skin moisturized on the feet requires regular home maintenance.  Seniors should apply a Vitamin E & Aloe lotion to their feet everyday.

     Unlike skin, the nails thicken with age.  Fungal infections, decreased circulation, or accumulated trauma to the nails can all cause thickening.  Thickened nails are unattractive and may cause shoe-fitting problems.  Pain may result when the thickened nail presses against the top of the shoes.

     Seniors should have their toenails professionally trimmed monthly to minimize foot difficulties.  If fungus is the cause of toenail thickening then a topical Thymol liquid fungus killer should be applied twice daily.  Simple maintenance at home and monthly visits to a professional licensed nail technician can help ensure that senior foot conditions and ailments do not get worse.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Benefits of Waterless Manicures & Pedicures

     Waterless manicures and waterless pedicures have numerous benefits in addition to the trivial one of conserving a little bit of water.

     Natural nails swell when they’re immersed in water and expand at the free edge.  As the nails dry, they contract and shrink.  If natural nails are polished immediately after a warm water soak, the polish at the nails’ free edges may crack and peel as the nails begin to dry out.  So the main benefit of keeping the nails dry throughout a manicure or pedicure service is to help ensure longer-lasting, chip-free polish adhesion.

     Soaking the hands and feet does soften the cuticles.  But the warm water actually dehydrates the skin rather than providing moisture.  It is better to soften the cuticles with alpha-hydroxy cuticle remover cream or gel rather than soaking them in warm water.

      Waterless manicures and pedicures are safer and healthier for diabetics.  Diabetics suffer from poor circulation, which means it takes the body longer to heal itself and heightens the risk of infection.  Even a small nick can become serious.  The skin on the feet has a tendency to become thin and dry.  Special care through waterless pedicures using cleansing creams and oxygenated lotions designed specifically for diabetics safely cleanses, hydrates and renews the thin, dry skin.

     Busy people have less time for what they consider luxuries.  Waterless manicure and waterless pedicure services save time by skipping the soaking.  If you do choose to get a warm water manicure, be sure to leave your nails in the water for only a short time – only a minute or so.

     Several good waterless alternatives to the traditional water manicure are the warm oil-soak manicure, warm lotion-soak or the warm mitt manicure.  Several good waterless alternatives to the traditional water-soak pedicure are the exfoliating wax dip and lotion bootie pedicure.  Special products containing essential oils, lotions and creams are used to clean, exfoliate, and soften the feet and hands rather than soaking them in water.  These alternative waterless services all provide extra-moisturizing treatments that quickly and thoroughly eliminate dry skin on the hands and feet but will not cause the nails to swell resulting in better, longer lasting polish wear.

     Choose a salon that is up-to-date on the latest new nail care trends that include waterless manicures and waterless pedicures.  In addition to conserving water, waterless services insure that your nail polish stays on longer, and save you time during your salon visits.  You will be surprised and pleased with the relaxing, skin renewing, natural nail benefits of the waterless manicure and waterless pedicure services that innovative high quality salons are offering these days.  So go ahead and try these new services and enjoy the benefits of softer skin and longer lasting polish wear. 

Bacterial Nail Infections

     A therapeutic nail tech and licensed onyxologist provides more than just manicures, pedicures and nail enhancements.  Continuing advanced education helps an onyxologist to stay on top of the changing trends within the nail care industry.  Onyxologists are educated on different nail conditions and diseases in order to keep clients safe and healthy.

     A common bacterial nail infection is pseudomonas, commonly referred to as “greenies” and is usually associated with artificial nail enhancement services.  Pseudomonas bacterial infection usually occurs if the nail plate is not properly cleansed and prepared before the nail enhancement is applied.  Bacteria are one-celled, living organisms.  Bacterial infections result when large numbers of bacteria are trapped between a nail coating and the nail plate.  The risk of Pseudomonas is increased by moisture entrapment when lifting occurs with unmaintained nail enhancements.  The extra moisture allows the bacteria to thrive and multiply.  The green color on the nail is a byproduct of the infection due to the waste products created by the live bacterial organisms.

     Prevention is the key to avoiding nail plate infections.  Always make sure that your nail tech cleans the nail plate just before applying the nail enhancement product.  If the surface moisture, oils, (and bacteria) is removed before the product is applied, nail infections will be prevented.  Traditional artificial nail enhancement methods can cause many complications if not applied correctly and maintained properly every two weeks.  Other common complications with traditional artificial nail enhancement methods are thinning of the natural nail plates, allergic reactions in the cuticles, deeply ridged nail beds caused by the improper use of the electric drill, and fungus infections.

     When a pseudomonas bacterial “green” infection is present on the nails, the enhancement product should be completely removed by soaking it off in acetone.  If the stain is very dark the enhancement product should be left off for a longer period of time.  Gloves should be worn when hands are in water or using household cleaners.  It will also help to soak the nails in vinegar several times a day for a few days.  It will take several months for the green stain to grow out as the new nails grow.  If it does not grow out in three to four weeks, or is creating redness, swelling or significant pain or discharging fluid, then see a doctor or dermatologist. 

     There is a healthier nail enhancement method that does not require the use of electric drills or fill-ins.  These artificial nails look like natural nails and they are easily removed every two weeks in only ten minutes.  The health of the nail can be examined every two weeks in order to prevent any complications.  This new method is great for people that are allergic to traditional acrylic or gel enhancement methods.  If you are fed up with having nail beds and cuticles painfully burned with the improper use of the electric drill and suffering painful prying enhancement removal then try the Prescription Nails enhancement method.

The Healthier Way To Wear Artificial Nails

     How would you like to have perfect nails instantly?  No having to let them grow for months in constant fear of breakage.  Who could resist?  Artificial nails are perfect, beautiful and immediate.  But many women experience pangs of regret when they realize how damaged their nails have become due to long-term use of artificial nails.  The every two-week fill-in ritual has turned into a dreaded part of their normal lifestyle, like having their teeth cleaned or changing their oil.  Maintenance of artificial nails should be a safe and healthy habit—not a destructive and damaging habit.

     News reports have warned about the dangers of long-term MMA acrylic use.  Several discount salon chains have been investigated and found guilty of using dangerous products and poor drill use practices resulting in severe damage to women’s natural nails.  Yet women still choose that easy, quick perfect set of beautiful artificial nails and continue to wear them month after month.  Most of the nail damage comes from improper drill use, prying the product off to remove it, and no “rest” or “recovery” period between full sets.  Continuous, uninterrupted long-term wear of artificial nails can cause extreme thinning and brittleness of the natural nails.  Other possible nail health risks involving long-term use of artificial nail products are fungal infections, product allergies, separation or lifting of the nail plate, distorted nail shape, dry cracking cuticles, scarring of the nail bed, and grooved nails.

     To avoid the complications involving long-term use of artificial nails, be sure to have them professionally removed periodically so the natural nails can recover.  A good rule of thumb is 2-1/2 months on and 2-1/2 months off.  Combine the artificial nail removal with a home care maintenance recovery program to speed and maximize the nail health recovery process.  Taking daily Biotin supplements and getting nail fluoride treatments will help harden and thicken weak nails and reduce splitting.  Use of a crystal (glass) nail file will seal and protect the free edges and also reduce splitting and peeling. After the artificial nails are removed, you should get at least 8 high quality professional manicures between each full set of artificial nail enhancements.

     There is help and hope for those who want to learn to recover from nail damage and learn how to wear artificial enhancements the correct, healthier way.  With discipline and commitment you can wear artificial nail enhancements and have good nail health too!  

Help for Dry Feet

     Dry cracked feet are never attractive or comfortable.  Aging and normal activity cause the padding to deteriorate on the soles of your feet.  The feet become more tender and prone to dryness and injury.  Calluses, dry heels, and thickened cuticles form.

     Your feet will be much more likely to remain healthy if you get regular professional pedicures and follow a good daily home-care maintenance plan.  Professional pedicures can offer temporary relief to people that suffer from dry rough calluses, dry crusty heels and dry thick cuticles.  For home use, there are many moisturizing and softening products on the market that nurture the tissues and help to maintain healthy skin. 

     Daily home-care maintenance is a very important factor in keeping the feet healthy.  Monthly pedicures by themselves are not enough to adequately treat dry calluses, dry heels, or dry cuticles.  In order to prevent problems from reoccurring, the feet should be cared for daily.  Natural herbal home-care products will control many foot dryness problems.   Daily home foot care primarily involves the application of lotion or herbal topical products to moisturize dry skin, and cuticle oil to moisturize dry cuticles. 

     People that have thick, yellow or dark toenails also often suffer from very dry thick skin on their feet.  Fungus infections frequently affect the condition of both the skin and nails resulting in severe dryness.  If you think you have a skin or nail fungus infection, you should consult a podiatrist or medical doctor for advice.  Topical liquid fungus treatments should contain Thymol. 

     The cuticles and calluses should NOT be cut.  Cutting this thickened skin will cause it to grow back thicker and quicker.  The credo cutting blade implement has been outlawed by the state of Georgia due to the danger and the lack of proper sanitation practices.  Improper use of the credo cutting implement will cause bleeding and infection.  For public safety, the use of exfoliation scrubs, pumice stones, foot files, and herbal skin softening products are recommended instead of the dangerous credo cutting blade implement. 

     Monthly professional pedicures and a good daily home-care maintenance routine are the two keys to proper safe and sanitary foot care.  If you need help for dry calluses, dry heels, dry cuticles, toenail fungus, or ingrown toenails, then get help from a professional licensed nail technician.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Are You A Nail Biter?

     If you suffer from the compulsive habit of biting your nails, know that you’re not alone.  It has been estimated that one in every four people bite their nails.  Statistics show that one-half of adolescents bite their nails at some point and between one-quarter and one-third of college students say they still bite their nails.  Nail biting is usually done to ease stress and anxiety.  Any kind of disharmony as a result of friends, family, work, or school can trigger the habit.

     Some nail biters seem to bite in an automatic way, as if they are in a trance and not really thinking about what they are doing.  Usually, they are involved in some other activity at the same time such as reading, talking on the phone, working at the computer, watching T.V., etc.  For others, the nail biting is their main activity at the time, and they will frequently interrupt other activities in order to do it.  People seem to bite when they are either over-stimulated (due to stress or excitement) or under-stimulated (due to boredom or inactivity).

     Another factor considered in nail biting behavior involves a kind of compulsive perfectionism.  Nail biters will often try to bite off rough-feeling or broken bits of cuticle or nail sticking out in order to make their nails feel smooth and look “perfect” or regular.

     Nail biting sufferers are helped when they are able to first identify, and then eliminate, avoid, or change the particular activities, environmental factors, mood states, or circumstances that trigger the nail biting response.  The most important aspect of overcoming nail biting is to train yourself to keep your nails out of your mouth.  Part of the cure is to find out exactly when and under what situations start the biting.  Behavioral techniques for stopping nail biting are primarily interference techniques: doing something else with your hands (such as rubbing a smooth stone, playing the piano, squeezing a ball, playing checkers, chess, embroidering, etc.) or doing something else with your mouth (such as chewing gum, chewing on a straw, toothpick, or eating hard candy, etc.)

     The nail industry has produced an all-natural herbal anti-fingernail biting cream.  Thousands of people are seeing results with this cream, which is massaged into the cuticles and nails morning, night and after hand washing.  The cream is odorless, invisible, and will not stain.  It is formulated to prevent nail biting by causing an unpleasant taste that reminds you not to bite.  The aloe and vitamins A, B, C, & E enriched cream result in fewer hangnails, smooth cuticles, and faster healing. 

     The recovery program and the home care kit meet all three very important healing steps—hydration, maintenance, and protection.  The cuticle oil and the anti-fingernail biting cream hydrate and cure irritated cuticles; the manicures provide the weekly maintenance; and the nail strengthener protects the nails as they begin to grow.  If you seriously want to stop biting your nails then try the ten-week nail biting recovery program, you’ll be glad you did.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Arch, Foot, & Leg Injuries

     People who favor flip-flops as their primary footwear option may experience lower leg pain and a change in their stride, according to research presented at the 55th annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.  The study compared flip-flops to sneakers to assess the angles at which they impact the floor and the force upon contact with the ground while walking.  Researchers analyzed the gait of flip-flop wearers compared to their gait while wearing sneakers.

     By compiling the forces that the foot is exerting on the ground, they found a statistically significant decrease in the vertical (straight-down) force in flip-flop wearers.  This decreased force gives evidence that flip-flop wearers alter their normal gait and this sheds light as to why some experience lower leg pain.

     “Flip-flops are not designed for prolonged use or for walking long distances,” says Justin F. Shroyer, lead author on the study.  “They lack the support that a walking or running shoe provides.  Flip-flops should only be worn casually and for shorter periods of time.”

     Some flip-flops on the market may provide more support, but are usually more expensive.  For someone with lower-leg or foot problems, Shroyer recommends they limit their usage and choose a flip-flop with more support.

     Flip-flops should be replaced often.  Despite claims that they are the most comfortable when they are “broken in,” they should be replaced every few months just a runner would with running shoes.

     Foot-related injuries due to flip-flop wear are on the rise, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.  “There are many flip-flops on the market that offer little to nothing in terms of arch support, stability, and shock absorption,” says the APMA’s Dr. Ross Taubman.  “Opting to wear a pair of cheaply constructed flip-flops puts the wearer at risk for injuries such as arch pain, tendonitis, and sprained ankles.”  The APMA urges wearers to select flip-flops that are made of high-quality soft leather, rather than plastic or foam.

     Poorly fitting shoes can result in debilitating consequences later in life.  We are given only one pair of feet for life and bad shoe choices will eventually take a toll on the health of our feet.

     The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends the following “don’ts” in order to reduce the risk of injury.
  1. Don’t re-wear flip-flops year after year.  Thoroughly inspect older flip-flops for wear.  If they show signs of severe wear in the soles, it’s time to discard them. 
  2. Don’t ignore irritation between toes, where the toe thong fits—this can lead to blisters and even worse irritation. 
  3. Don’t wear flip-flops while walking long distances.  Even the sturdiest flip-flop offers little in terms of shock absorption and arch support. 
  4. Don’t do yard work while wearing flip-flops.  Always wear a shoe that fully protects the foot when doing outside activities like mowing the lawn or using a weed-eater.
  5.  Don’t ever play sports in flip-flops.  You can easily twist your foot or ankle, leading to sprains or breaks.

Acrylic Nail Enhancements

     What are acrylic nails?  I’ve received numerous calls concerning acrylic nails.  The statements I hear most often are, “I didn’t know acrylic nails should be soaked off”, “I didn’t know acrylic nails were so damaging”, and “I didn’t realize I needed fill-ins every two weeks.”  Acrylic nails are a liquid and powder mixture, brushed on over a plastic nail tip to add length.  Most women get acrylic nails for weddings or other special occasions without researching what’s involved in maintaining them.

     How do I maintain acrylic nails?  If you break a nail or if a nail begins to lift, schedule a repair fill-in appointment.  A broken nail can become infected when moisture becomes trapped between the natural nail and the extension tip.  If you’re hard on your nails, shorter nails will avoid breakage and look more natural.  Use cuticle oil daily to soften dry cuticles that acrylics usually cause.

     How should I remove acrylic nails?  Clip the tips (length) down, remove polish and buff the top layer off and soak in pure acetone for about 45 minutes; scrape the softened acrylic off with an orange wood stick.  Prying off is never a good way to remove acrylic because it is painful and removes layers of your natural nails.  You should soak-off acrylic nails (every 6 to 8 weeks).  After your acrylics are removed, your natural nails will be weak, so a eight-week recovery program is recommended.

     What are the risks from long-term acrylic wear?  Possible nail health risks involving long-term use of acrylic nails are fungal infections, product allergies, separation or lifting of the natural nail plate, thin distorted nails, dry cracking cuticles, scarring of the nail bed, and deep grooved nails (also known as rings of fire.)

     Are there any alternative nail enhancements available?  Party Nails also known as temporary tips or special occasion nails are pre-decorated with nail art, last three days to one week and are used for ages 13-18 and for adults not interested in maintaining a set of nails for a long period of time.  Go 30 Prescription Nail enhancements are for weak nails or nail biters, last two weeks and do not require maintenance fill-ins or the use of electric drills.

A Non-damaging Nail Enhancement Method!

     If you’re looking for a nail enhancement that looks and feels like real nails then you should try the new Go 30 Prescription Nails enhancement method.  Many women are not satisfied with the traditional acrylic enhancement method because they produce nails that look and feel too thick and bulky.  Unfortunately some women develop allergic itchy, red, swelled skin reactions to the acrylic product.   Another draw back to traditional acrylics is that they require fill-ins using electric drills—all too often the nail tech doesn’t use sanitized drill bits and this can spread nail fungus from one client to another.  Also if the nail tech files down into the nail bed it causes pain, nail bed damage and possible infection.  Still another draw back to traditional acrylics is the painful removal process by prying or picking off the product that results in nail bed damage. 

     Go 30 Prescription Nails are perfect for clients who want long, beautiful nails without the time, pain, expense or negative risks associated with traditional acrylic or gel enhancement methods.  They are great for helping nail biters overcome their nail biting habit allowing them to grow out their nails safely.  Because Go 30 Prescription Nails cover the entire nail bed they stay on a nail biters fingers better.  Traditional acrylic tips are applied from the middle of the nail to the free edge rather than covering the entire nail bed.  The unsatisfactory thick and bulky artificial look of traditional acrylics is produced from applying too much acrylic product over the tip in an attempt to make a nail biters nails stay on better.

     Go 30 Prescription Nails are carefully fitted to each finger—the curvature and arch of each nail is precisely measured and recorded on a client’s prescription card.  The nails are sized to exactly fit the client’s nail shape producing nail enhancements that have a very comfortable, natural look and feel.

     Go 30 Prescription Nails are quick to apply; clear, full-cover nail tips that are custom-designed for application on top of the entire natural nail bed.  They are durable and last up to two weeks.  They require no fill-ins.  They are easily soaked off in ten to fifteen minutes in acetone.  Go 30 Prescription Nails make an excellent addition to any outfit you choose for everyday wear or for any special occasion such as parties, proms, graduations, weddings, reunions or church functions.  Because you get a new full set every two weeks your nails always look and feel nice.  If you want a healthier nail enhancement method that produces beautiful nails that look and feel just like your own then try Go 30 Prescription Nails today.  Go 30 Prescription Nails enhancements are available at any therapeutic nail salon staffed by a licensed onyxologist.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Nail Care for Seniors

     Two-thirds of seniors need help with basic activities.  Nail care can become an urgent medical need rather than a luxury.  The needs, issues, & concerns of appropriate nail care are very different for seniors than for younger clients.

     Elderly clients often need their nails trimmed for them.  Elderly people usually can’t reach their feet and they need pedicures from safe, good quality foot care professionals.  Many podiatrists no offer full pedicures.  The elderly need treatment for nail fungus, ingrown toenails and calluses.  Overly vigorous pedicure services can cause serious problems.  The elderly should have gentle pedicure services that are unhurried.

     Foot problems are more common in the elderly than in the general population.  The feet and toenails of elderly clients should be examined frequently for signs of nail fungus, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses; swelling, or varicose veins.

     Elderly clients have to be very careful because of Neuropathy – decreased nerve feeling, and Peripheral Vascular Disease – decreased blood flow.  The body changes as it ages, and the skin and nails are not immune to the problems associated with age.  Poor circulation can be improved through the use of gentle exfoliation salt and sugar scrub products, and by the use of gentle, light touch foot massage.  Tea tree and eucalyptus oil are good pedicure products used to treat poor circulation and dry skin.

     Foot massage feels good on anyone, but with the added benefit of helping the body’s circulation, it is especially beneficial for older clients.  Foot massage improves local circulation and feels wonderful.  Nothing beats the power of touch.  The elderly need foot massage with a gentle touch and slow movements.

      Arthritis flare-ups can be very painful for older clients.  Salon services that utilize heat will help elderly clients that suffer from arthritis pain.  Clients’ hands and feet can be treated with moisturizing paraffin, and then wrapped in warm towels, mitts, or booties.  A warm paraffin treatment helps to moisturize dry skin, open the skin’s pores, detoxify the body, and ease arthritis pain.  The warm paraffin is gently removed with light massage.  Any swollen joints should be tenderly massaged.

       With consistent, professional toenail care, elderly feet can stay comfortable and pain free.  Toenails should be trimmed monthly to insure a safe foot comfort level.  Toenails become thicker with age, and the ridges in them become more pronounced.  Thickened toenails should be soaked in tepid, not hot, water that includes a moisturizing product to soften the nails and skin.  Toenails should be shortened, shaped, and gently filed to smooth them.

     Problems with the feet can be a sign of more serious medical conditions.  For serious problems, see a Podiatrist immediately.  Many times, regular, high quality, professional nail care can help to alleviate many of those conditions.

Beautify Your Feet

     With sandal season approaching, it is important to beautify your feet.  A relaxing monthly pedicure will treat both the toenails and the skin on the feet.  If you suffer from corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, fungus, athlete’s foot or diseases such as diabetes or arthritis then monthly pedicures help to keep your feet healthy as well as beautiful.

     Your feet need individual attention.  Just like your face, your feet are different from everyone else’s.  Forty-three million Americans say their feet hurt and that they have some kind of problem with their feet.  There are a lot of feet out there in dire need of attention and pampering.  Shoes are often the biggest offenders.  Wearing the wrong size, style and shape of shoes can cause numerous foot problems.  Ingrown toenails are the most common.

     Ingrown toenails can lead to serious problems if not taken care of correctly.  Usually, toenails grow straight out, but sometimes, one or both corners curve and grow into the flesh.   The corners dig painfully into the soft tissue of the nail grooves, often leading to irritation, redness, and swelling.  The big toe is the most common casualty, but other toes can also become ingrown.  The shape of the nail is usually inherited, but it is commonly influenced by trauma or shoe pressure.  Tight footwear will increase pressure between the skin in the nail fold and nail, increasing the risk of ingrown nails.  An experienced, professional Nail Tech will know exactly what to do to minimize the pain and speed up the healing.

     The skin on the feet is particularly vulnerable to dryness.   As we age, oil-producing glands slow down production, causing skin to become thin and dry.   Not only does dry skin make the feet look older, it also increases susceptibility to foot infections.  It is important to keep the feet moisturized with a thick rich lotion daily.

     Knowledgeable, qualified pedicurists will never cut or nip delicate skin.  They use scrubs and foot files to gently exfoliate the dry skin on the heels and bottom of the feet.  They use alpha-hydroxy cream to remove cuticle.  The improper practice of nipping or cutting the cuticles will make them grow back quicker and thicker.  When you choose a pedicurist be sure that they do not nip or cut your cuticles.

     A good pedicure ends with a foot and leg massage.  The foot and leg massage improves blood circulation.  Optimal blood circulation decreases the chances of developing skin and nail problems in the feet.

     Choose a salon that you can trust.  Be sure that your salon diligently follows state guidelines for safe footbath cleansing and disinfecting procedures.

     Monthly pedicures can dramatically soften and heal callus-prone feet.  Monthly pedicures will help to prevent fungal infections.  A little time and attention will keep your feet looking and feeling good.  You will also gain health benefits such as skin renewal, reduced stress, and improved circulation.