Why You Should Never Shave Before A Pedicure

Even in the colder weather, I still love getting a pedicure and having my feet look nice! But I also must admit, I don’t regularly keep up with shaving my legs the way I do in the summer when it’s colder out. One thing I am always very careful about is making sure I never shave my legs the same day I go to get a pedicure. I always try to plan ahead and shave them the day before. Why you ask?

When you shave your legs the razor creates tiny tears in your skin, which is a perfect opportunity for bacteria to enter your skin. The micro-tears in your skin combined with the bacteria present in pedicure tubs is a perfect storm for creating a nasty infection like cellulitis. These infections can be very serious, and even lead to hospitalization.

Believe it or not, this actually happened to me when I was younger! I shaved in the morning and got a pedicure in the afternoon, and then developed a bazaar leg infection that took months to heal with the treatment of a dermatologist. Please learn from my mistake and make sure you never shave just before a pedi! Also, if you suspect the nail salon isn’t meeting sanitary guidelines, leave immediately! It’s just not worth the risk.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Healthy Baked Apples – A Perfect Fall Treat!

Apple picking is one of my favorite fall traditions. There is only so much applesauce or pie a girl can make. Baked apples are a perfect fall dessert that won’t cause you to pack on the pounds, and kids love them too.
 
INGREDIENTS
1 organic apple
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 tsp ghee 
1 pinch salt & cinammon
1 tsp raisins (optional)
1 tbsp nuts (I prefer walnuts or almonds)
 
INSTRUCTIONS
Slice off the top off your apple and remove the core, beings sure not to cut all the way through (leave some flesh in the bottom of the apple).
Fill the center of the apple with nuts and raisins. Top with maple syrup, then ghee. Sprinkle salt and cinnamon on top.

Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

Detoxing Through Your Feet

There’s nothing more relaxing for tired feet than a great foot soak at the end of the day. By adding some simple ingredients to your foot soak, you can increase the healing properties of your foot soak, and boost the overall health benefits.

Bentonite clay is well known for its ability to pull toxin out when it comes into contact with the body. Epsom salts are said to break down into magnesium and sulfate in the water, then your body absorbs the minerals through the skin, and then “draw out” toxins from the body. Lavender oil is well known for its soothing and calming properties.

My favorite add-ins include:

To set up a foot detox bath, start by getting a large tub or bowl. Mix 1/2 cup of epsom salts in to 6 quarts of hot water and let it dissolve. While waiting, mix 2 TBSP of bentonite clay with 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar and apply to your feet. Leave it on until it dries (about 10-15 minutes). Add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil to the water and place your feet in the tub. Soak for about 15 minutes and you can use a pumice stone or natural bristle brush to help remove the clay and/or dead skin.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

 

Treat & Prevent Dry, Cracked Heels

Heel fissures, also known as cracked heels can be a simple cosmetic problem and a nuisance, but can also lead to serious medical problems. Heel fissures occur when the skin on the bottom, outer edge of the heel becomes hard, dry and flaky, sometimes causing deep fissures that can be painful or bleed.

Heel fissures can affect anyone, but risk factors include: Living in a dry climate Obesity Consistently walking barefoot or wearing sandals or open-backed shoes Inactive sweat glands Like many foot conditions, heel fissures can become more dangerous if they go untreated and become deep or infected. This is especially dangerous for people with diabetes or compromised immune systems.

If you already have dry heels, what’s a girl to do? Here is my regimen that I find helpful for getting rid of those nasty white, dry heels when they creep in!

  1. Deep clean/soak your feet: Soaking your feet using the foot soak recipe below. Be sure to clean all the spaces on your feet with a washcloth, including the areas in between your toes.
  2. Exfoliate: Using a bristle brush, exfoliate your feet and ankles. Start at the ankle area and brush in a circular motion to the tips of your toes, working your way around the top and the bottom of the feet. Yo can also use a pumice stone. Be sure not to be aggressive when exfoliating, or you can do more harm than good.
  3. Moisturize: Using a thick, creamy lotion or mask, coat the feet and let the moisturizer sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off with a warm washcloth. If possible do all of this before bed, then put on soft, cotton socks immediately after applying moisturizer.

Foot Soak Recipe

  • 1 cup of Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts
  • 2 drops lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • 2 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 2 drops eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 2 drops camomile oil (Matricaria recutita)
  • Mix oils and store in a dark glass jar

To create the soak: pour boiling water into a large bowl, and let it cool down to a comfortable temperature. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cleansing foot soak mixture, and soak feet for up to 15 minutes.

As with any condition, prevention is always easier than treatment, so be sure to regularly care for your feet to avoid any extreme issues that come from neglect over time.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Managing Ingrown Toenails At Home

When you have an ingrown toenail, you don’t usually want people looking at your toes. They can be swollen, infected and less than sexy! So I put together this post about ingrown toenails and how to prevent and treat them, so you can show off your sexy toes.

Known to physicians as onychocryptosis, ingrown toe nails are a common, painful condition that occur when skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself grows into the skin. This condition is usually very painful and can be associated with infection of the toe. Some ingrown toenails are chronic, with repeated episodes of pain and infection. Irritation, redness, an uncomfortable sensation of warmth, as well as swelling can result from an ingrown toenail.

Causes

In some cases ingrown toenails are congenital, such as toenails that simply are too large. People whose toes curl, either congenitally or from diseases like arthritis, are prone to ingrown toenails. Often trauma, like stubbing a toe or having a toe stepped on, can cause a piece of the nail to be jammed into the skin. Repeated trauma, such as the pounding to which runners typically subject their feet, also can cause ingrown nails.

The most common cause is cutting your toenails incorrectly, causing them to re-grow into the skin. Tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes only make matters worse. If the skin is red, painful or swollen on the sides of the nail, an infection may be present. This occurs because the ingrown nail is often in a warm, moist and bacteria-rich environment. When the nail penetrates the skin, it provides a convenient entry for germs that can cause infection. Untreated, the nail can go under the skin, causing a more severe infection. In either case, the infection needs to be cured with sterile instruments and antibiotics.

Treatment & Prevention

Ingrown toenails should be treated as soon as they are recognized. In many cases, people with uninfected ingrown toenails can obtain relief with the following simple regimen:

  • Soak the feet in warm salt water
  • Dry them thoroughly with a clean towel
  • Apply a mild antiseptic solution to the area
  • Bandage the toe

infection

If excessive inflammation, swelling, pain or discharge is present as in the above photo, the toenail probably is infected and should be treated by a physician. A podiatrist can trim or remove the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure. He or she can remove the offending portion of the nail or overgrown skin with a scalpel and treat the infection. Unless, the problem is congenital, the best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to protect the feet from trauma and wear shoes with adequate room for the toes.

trim

Cutting toe nails properly goes a long way toward the prevention of ingrown toenails. Using a safety nail clipper, cut the nails straight across, so that the nail corner is visible. If you cut the nail too short, you are inviting the nail corner to grow into the skin. It is the natural tendency, when the edge of the nail starts to grow in, to cut down at an angle at the nail edge, to relieve the pain. This does relieve the pain temporarily, but it also can start a downward spiral, training the nail to become more and more ingrown.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

How To Avoid Getting Lice Naturally

With kids returning to school, I am starting to see posts popping up about lice letters coming home with their children. YIKES! Lice is one of my biggest fears because my daughter has thick, very curly hair and I feel like we would never get rid of them! I have done tons of research on how to naturally avoid getting lice without exposing my daughters to toxic chemical treatments.

  1. Don’t wash hair too often: In my research, I found that lice are more likely to be attracted to freshly washed/clean hair. While washing your hair daily may seem like a great way to keep lice at bay, the opposite is actually true. Try to keep hair washing to a minimum: 2-3 a week, max!
  2. Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a natural lice deterrent. Simply fill a spray bottle with water and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil (per ounce of liquid). Shake well and spray on hair and rub/comb through before styling.
  3. Natural Lice Deterrent Spray: Lice Shield uses natural essential oils known to repel lice so you can react easy. There’s no need to spray your hair with toxic chemicals to keep lice at bay.
  4. Use Natural Hair Products: As mentioned above, lice prefer clean hair. Hair that is covered in product like gel or hair spray is less desirable for these critters. Most hair sprays and gels you buy at the pharmacy are filled with nasty, toxic ingredients, but there are a few more natural options out there.
  5. Keep hair up in a tight bun or braid: Hair that is loosely flowing is more likely to come into contact with something contaminated with lice. Keeping hair up and away from the shoulders will help prevent lice from getting to your hair.
  6. Use plastic backpacks: Lice can come home on your child’s fabric backpack. Using a plastic backpack makes it less likely for lice to lay eggs in your backpack fibers, because there aren’t any fabric fibers for them to get into.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Yoga For Tired/Achy Feet

Many of us spend a lot of our day on our feet. Often in shoes that are not as supportive as they should be. At the end of the day, we find ourselves with tired, achy feet. I came across some great yoga poses that help relieve tired/achy feet and give your lower body a great stretch. These are the perfect way to end the day and give your feet some much needed TLC!

Downward Dog

Downward dog works wonders for stretching out the back of our body. This pose stretches our hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendons. Once you are comfortably in the pose, try alternating heel raises and bicycling your feet to get some movement into the pose. Be sure to press down firmly into the foot on the floor to increase the stretch in the back of that leg. If your heels don’t yet touch the ground, place a rolled up blanket or yoga mat under the heels for modification.

Tree Pose

Tree pose is great for improving balance and strengthening feet. For added stretching, try doing this pose on top of a yoga block. Standing on a block in tree pose will destabilize the standing foot and help to build strength in the foot.

Hero’s Pose

With proper alignment, this pose stretches the tops of the feet and ankles, helping to counteract the damage of daily activities such as walking, running, or bicycling. It also encourages strong, properly developed arches in the feet; lengthens the quadriceps; and broadens the sacrum area, which is often congested from long days spent sitting in a chair.

Bound Angle Pose

With your feet placed together and in your view, you’ll really be able to see if you have flat feet or high arches that need to be stretched. You can place a tennis ball between your feet to gently roll back and forth while helping to stretch fascia.

DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.

 

Scrub Your Body For Better Health

Dry skin needs to be regularly exfoliated to stay smooth and flake-free. Body scrubbing can be done before or after your bath or shower, or anytime during the day. All you need is a sink with hot water and a medium-sized cotton washcloth.

For the maximum effect, scrub your body twice a day: once in the morning and once again in the evening. Scrub for two minutes to 20 minutes, depending on the amount of time you have. The process of the hot towel scrub has a deeper physical, mental and emotional effect when done at the sink as opposed to in the shower.

Directions:

  • Turn on the hot water and fill the sink
  • Hold the towel at both ends and place in the hot water
  • Wring out the towel
  • While the towel is still hot and steamy, begin to scrub the skin gently.
  • Do one section of the body at a time: for example, begin with the hands and fingers and work your way up the arms to the shoulders, neck and face, then down to the chest, upper back, abdomen, lower back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes
  • Scrub until the skin becomes slightly pink or until each part becomes warm
  • Reheat the towel often by dipping it in the sink of hot water after scrubbing each section, or as soon as the towel starts to cool

Benefits:

  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Reenergizes in the morning and deeply relaxes at night
  • Opens the pores to release stored toxins
  • Softens deposits of hard fat below the skin and prepares them for discharge
  • Allows excess fat, mucus, cellulite and toxins to actively discharge to the surface rather than to accumulate around deeper vital organs
  • Relieves stress through meditative action of rubbing the skin
  • Calms the mind
  • Promotes circulation
  • Activates the lymphatic system, especially when scrubbing underarms and groin
  • Easy massage and deep self-care
  • Can be a sacred moment in your day, especially if done with candlelight and a drop or two of essential oil, such as lavender
  • Creates a profound and loving relationship with the body, especially parts not often shown care, and especially for a person with body image problems
  • Spreads energy through the chakras

Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast

I love a good crock pot meal for the fall. This one is so comforting and delicious, your whole family will LOVE it! SkinnyTaste has great recipes!

TOTAL TIME: 6-8 hours

INGREDIENTS:

2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (sirloin roast)
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Read full recipe at http://www.skinnytaste.com/crock-pot-balsamic-pork-roast/#dq7M2LIrIhHc0wLs.99

Using Essential Oils for Neuropathy

Proper foot care is essential for those with Diabetes.  Of the 16 million Americans with diabetes, 25% develop foot problems related to the disease. This is primarily due to a condition called neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the nerves. The most common type of diabetic neuropathy is called peripheral neuropathy and affects the peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves are the nerves that go out from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, internal organs, and glands. Peripheral neuropathy impairs proper functioning of these sensory and motor nerves. The most common symptoms of neuropathy include numbness and loss of feeling, usually in the feet and hands.

Diabetic Neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions, Hammer Toes, and Charcot Feet. It is very important for diabetics to take the necessary precautions to prevent all foot-related injuries. Due to the consequences of neuropathy, daily observation of the feet is critical. When a diabetic patient takes the necessary preventative footcare measures, he or she reduces the risk of developing serious foot conditions.

If you suffer from neuropathy, there are some great natural ways you can support your foot health, including essential oils. Always be sure to properly dilute your oils to ensure that you aren’t doing more harm than good.

  • Peppermint oil: Peppermint is known to reduce pain and relax muscles.
  • Lavender: A natural pain reliever that promotes relaxation and sleep.
  • Roman chamomile: Helps to soothe muscles that are in pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Tea tree oil: Disinfects and has powerful antiseptic properties. It can be placed directly on cuts and scrapes to clean, disinfect, and reduce pain. Tea tree oil can be used for fungal infections, rashes, blisters, athlete’s foot, burns, infected wounds, cold sores, insect bites, and warts.

DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.