But here's the problem with that way of thinking: Pedicures do more than keep our toenails looking lovely and lively in shades of magenta and fire engine red. They nourish our poor, overworked feet — which take an even more brutal beating in winter.
"Whether you have circulation issues, are a runner or walker, or you're just like everyone else and your feet are cooped up most of the day in stockings and shoes, pedicures feel good," said Becky Sturm, president of StormSister Spatique. "They're also recommended for those with circulatory problems and are a great addition to the foot health of diabetics."
Many podiatrists even see the value of treating yourself to regular pedicures — as long as your expectations are in check.
"Pedicures that are performed to trim nails and smooth rough skin as well as to beautify the feet and provide relaxation for the customer are fantastic," said Dr. Richard Graves, D.P.M., at Sol Foot and Ankle Centers. "What I don't like to see is pedicurists trimming into the sides of nails to try to remove 'ingrown toenails,' scraping under the nails to remove debris (they get too aggressive and separate the nail from the nail bed), pushing back 'cuticle' on toes like they do on fingers (this can lead to ingrown toenails), and dispensing medication to treat nail fungus. These are all things that are great for my practice, but bad for the customer/patient!"
With that in mind, here are six reasons why you should drop everything this winter and make your feet look pretty:
1. It will get your blood flowing. As Sturm mentioned, we can all use a circulation boost when the sub-zero temperatures threaten to freeze our poor bodies. Does anything sound more amazing than the thought of soaking your feet in a warm whirlpool bath fragranced with lavender oil?
2. It can heal you. Well, maybe not literally, but if you find a salon that also offers a reflexology massage with your pedicure, jump on it — you will not be sorry. A certified massage therapist can stroke sections of your feet in such a way that some experts believe can help relieve physical pain and anxiety and, in some cases, even promote better sleep.
3. You won't rip your stockings or tights. Every woman who has gone too long between pedicures knows that feeling of pulling on a pair of stockings and tights and watching them shred slightly from your unfiled, switchblade of a toenail. Regular pedicures will save you a fortune in stockings.
4. You're the most important person to impress. Even if the only people who are actually going to see your feet in March are your husband, your newborn and yourself, at least one of those three wonderful souls is going to feel a whole lot happier staring down at pretty, happy, reminds-you-of-summer coral toes. Pedicures give you that added boost of confidence. It's also incredibly sexy to take care of your body solely for your own enjoyment and pleasure.
5. Your feet won't be able to grate cheese. Imagine slipping into bed every night (alone or with someone) and not drawing blood with your super-sharp calluses. A good pedicure includes the removal of hard skin on your feet and leaves them feeling silky smooth and less like sandpaper.
6. Detect problems early. If you keep up with your monthly pedicures, even in winter, your therapist will be better able to detect any potential problems she sees with your feet, including fungal infections and corns. Obviously, a pedicure doesn't take the place of finding a great certified podiatrist, but your therapist can alert you to get your feet checked out by a health professional.
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