Health Topics

Healthy Living

January 2010
14 Pedicure Tips
Anju Poddar
When a new Hindu bride enters her in-laws' house for the first time, her feet are dipped in turmeric paste and imprints are taken on the threshold of the house. Footprints are believed to be the mirror of one's personality.

"Aap ke paanv dekhe; bahut khubsoorat hain. Zameen par mat rakhiyega, maile ho jaanyenge (Saw your feet; they are very beautiful. Don't place them on the floor, they will get dirty)" Rajkumar was so enamoured by Meena Kumari's beautifully groomed feet that he surrendered his whole life to her, in the movie Pakeezah! Since well maintained feet have the potantial to ignite romance, it would be sensible to give them due respect and care.

Pedicure Tips
  1. Keep your feet clean and dry at all times.
  2. Soak your feet in warm water. Make sure it's not too hot as very warm water tends to dry the skin. You could add rose water or milk for added softness (Cleopatra's recipe).
  3. Before soaking, trim or cut your nails. Be cautious not to cut too deep as it can cause in growth.
  4. Use foot shampoo or any milk fruit extract shampoo for cleaning.
  5. Add one cup hydrogen peroxide in water as it helps remove dirt.
  6. Use a nail brush to gently brush your nails.
  7. Scrub with pumice stone or earthenware clay jhaava.
  8. Rinse and use a good foot cream.
  9. If your feet are dark, add 1/3 quantity of lemon juice, 1/3 glycerine and 1/3 rose water to you soak mixture.
  10. If you feet are dry, massage the roots of the nails with olive oil and ensure to moisturise your feet. While sleeping, wear socks.
  11. Do not ignore cracked heels. Moisturise well.
  12. Paint your nails; it is a wrong concept that nail polish does not let your nails breathe. In fact, it protects your nails from the elements. I use transparent or white so even if it chips it's not noticeable. If you want to opt for a dark colour, then use an undercoat first.
  13. It is advisable to buy a good local brand of nail polish. Sometimes we buy fancy imported polish and go around for days with chipped nail polish, unable to change it if we have run out of it.
  14. Make sure you follow these home care methods every 10 days and get professional pedicure done once every three months.
Basic Foot Care
Apart for the occasional pedicure, your foot needs to be taken care of every day. Little things you can do daily take your feet a long way.

If your feet are sweaty and have a foul smell, it could be because of bacterial or fungal growth; attend to it immediately. Do not ignore any pain in your feet - see a physiotherapist. Diabetic patients should take special care as they cannot feel pain even if their feet are hurting, as they have low sensation. Yogic exercises like vajrasana are good for your feet and legs as it keeps the joints supple.

Your diet plays an important role in your foot care too. Include lots of vegetables in your diet. Vegetables like carrots are rich in vitamin A. Make eating fruits a habit - especially, oranges and papaya. Take vitamin B supplements as well.

And lastly, choose and wear comfortable footwear sensibly, according to your dress and occasion. Set your footprints wherever you are going. Remember – your Rajkumar is watching!

Dressing Up Your Feet
  • Bengalis use aalta (red paint) to adorn their feet, while Rajasthani's trust mehendi for the same.
  • You can try toe rings (bichiya) of all designs and shapes, with or without stones.
  • Try to get some paayjeb with stones and glitter, hanging close to the feet.
Anju Poddar is a successful home maker fascinated by Hindu traditions and festivals. She has authored four well received books, the latest being Meals, Menus and More
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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