Pedicure, what feet say about our health (and how to take care of them)

Point of direct contact with the outside world, I feet they are the only organ that touches the ground, conditioning the whole body and being in turn influenced by all the weight they carry. That’s why the condition of the skin covering them, from cracks to blemishes, can give us valuable clues about our overall health, working as a signal the most varied pathologies that can also affect very distant organs.

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by Giulia Mattioli



“The skin of the foot works like a spy: if a callus appears you have to ask yourself why and look for the causes, it is not enough to eliminate it, otherwise it is very likely that it will continue to reappear”, explains the Dr. Luca Avagnina, podiatrist, president of the Italian Society of Sports Podiatry (SIPS) and founder of Podomedica, first podiatric center in Italy for the foot and related suprapodal problems. “Very often behind an imperfection there is a chain of causes, which is why I always recommend a preventive visit to a podiatrist or podiatrist once a year”.

Let’s see below some particular foot signals to look out for.

COLD AND INFLATION: these phenomena may be related to vascular dysfunction. “The first thing to do is to check that the blood is circulating well, but microcirculation problems are not the only cause,” says Dr. Avagnina. “The problem can also come from the use of the wrong shoe or emotional factors can come into play: there are several psycho-somatic pathologies that affect the opening and closing of capillaries, causing cold or hot feet”.

CALLS AND CRACKED HEELS: Not all cracks are associated with mechanical clutches, but there are often other causes. “Hormonal dysfunction can change the hydration of the skin, and in this case nourishing creams are invaluable, while if the cracking is due to a problem of pressure they can help more orthotics”, explains the podiatrist. Another cause of cracked heels is poor oxygenation from poor movement, which is why cracked heels were so common during the pandemic, as well as friction with the ground from prolonged walking without shoes. “Calluses, on the other hand, are often the indicator that the sole of the foot is subjected to excessive weight and bad loads, to be solved with plantar and / or pharmacological therapies”.

MYCOTIC INFECTIONS: “The problem with fungal infections is that often certain spots are mistaken for fungal infections but they are not, such as psoriasis of the nails of the feet. For this reason, when a similar sign appears, it is necessary to contact a podiatrist or a chiropodist to have a diagnosis of mycosis made thanks to specific cultures, ”recommends the professor.

Foot beauty routine

The beautician’s pedicure should only be used as a cosmetic treatment, in all other cases a doctor is necessary. “The pedicure is a podiatric treatment to be carried out by a doctorespecially if there are pathologies that affect the feet or if you feel some form of pain, remembering however that there are also non-painful pathologies, like onychomycosis,” says Dr. Avagnina. The beautician was born as a figure that treats healthy feet and only serves to beautify the nail, cutting it and applying nail polish “. When the skin and nails are normal and you do not not have pain, even the do-it-yourself care it’s good and can become a lifesaver for your general well-being.

The step-by-step beauty routine for feet

1. Footbath: the foot bath is the first step to take because it is an excellent remedy to soften the skin even in the areas where it is most hardened. To do this, you can use hot water and bath salts or coarse salt and baking soda, also adding essential oils.

2. Scrub: after about 10 minutes with soaked feet, the skin where it is thickest can be smoothed using a specific product.

3. Nail trimming: when cutting nails, one of the most common mistakes is made, that is, smoothing the corners with scissors. “The rounded cut of the nail risks embodying them, because when the nail grows back in shoes, the pressure on the toe prevents it from finding a free furrow”, continues the doctor.

4. Cuticle Care: at this point you can focus on the cuticles by gently pushing them back with a wooden stick, cuticle nippers or curved tip scissors.

5. Hydration: “The skin of the feet needs hydration and nourishment like that of the face, because it is the feet that carry us and over the years we often pay for the lack of good maintenance”, warns Dr. Avagnina. Before applying the cream, it is better to rinse your feet again, paying particular attention to drying: “I recommend passing a thin towel or a handkerchief between your toes, because leaving the wet area promotes the creation of mycoses”, explains the podiatrist. Finally, to maximize the effectiveness of the creams, it is good to spread them with a draining massage starting from the sole of the foot and going up the leg, with slow and deep movements from bottom to top. Last step: the hide lie on the sofa before falling asleep.

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