Toes with smiley faces on them

We asked our chiropodist/foot specialists in Milton and Burlington for some tips to get your feet spring and sandal ready!

Stay positive, Spring will soon come! As we look forward to the warmer weather and hope to say goodbye to snow and warm layers.  Moving from winter boots to spring and summer footwear means our neglected skin and nails are now exposed.  While the first thought is to rush to the closest Nail shop for a pedicure, there are important factors to consider before deciding to put your feet in their hands.


– Proper sterilization and instrument decontamination: With the sheer volume of these shops it is difficult to properly regulate each locations sterilization practices.  As an informed consumer you have the right to ask and ensure the tools the esthetician is using on your feet have been properly cleaned and auto-claved to prevent the transmission of infection.

-Nail cutting technique- the desired curved nail shape requires the corners of the nails to be cut down on an angle.  This creates two dangers;1- the skin surrounding the nail can be cut, creating an opening in the skin that if not treated properly can cause and infection. 2- The increased angle when the corners are cut back can cause ingrown nails when the nail grows back.  Have nails left slightly longer which will allow the desired shape without cutting down into the corners.

-As a Diabetic patient, the risk is too high and it is not advised that you have your toe nails cut or callouses shaved down by anyone other than a Registered Chiropodist, Podiatrist or Footcare Nurse.

DIY Pedicure:

  • -Soak feet in warm water (test temperature with hands first) and Epsom Salt (no more than 1/3 cup) for 5-10 mins.
  • -One foot at a time, use a pumice stone or footfile to buff away dead skin and smooth callouses.  NEVER use a razor blade as it is too easy to cut yourself.
  • -Dry feet thoroughly, including in between toes
  • -Use and emery board/nail file to shape and buff nails (if nails need trimming, cut straight across/with shape of toe and ensure corners are at a 90 degree angle with skin)
  • -Use a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol to clean and remove any resedue around the nails (will also act to disinfect the nail plate area)
  • -Use Tea Tree Oil, an all natural essential oil with antibacterial properties on cuticles and around the nail
  • -Apply urea cream (Uremol 10, 20, Dermal Therapy, Eucerine cream) to feet (everywhere except in between toes). To aid in circulation, massage in a circular motion beginning at the base of your toes and working all the way to the ankle and up the lower calf.

For thick, difficult to cut nails or sore/painful callouses it is best to see your Chiropodist to have them properly managed.  Trying to manage these on your own can cause damage to the underlying tissue or around the nail. Of course if you are unsure of anything the best approach is to consult with one of our foot specialists in Burlington or Milton.

Dr. Anil Kaushal

Dr. Anil Kaushal


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