5 "Feet Treats" That Do More Harm Than Good

Now that the weather is nicer, our feet are coming out into the public sphere more often. You may find all sorts of unpleasant issues that you’ve been hiding in your shoes. Corns, calluses, dead skin, ingrown nails and gnarly cuticles are just a sampling of what you might encounter, upon closer inspection. Yet, before you go about trying to fix things yourself, consider five “feet treats” that podiatrists say do more harm than good.

Making A Homemade Foot Scrub To Cure Corns

It’s a popular myth that a homemade scrub is a safe and effective way to treat corns. In reality, a corn is a buildup of skin with a hard core. This aberration is caused by friction where the toe rubs against the shoe. According to Dr. Tracey Vlahovic DPM, “At-home soaks or scrubs would just exfoliate, not ‘remove’ corns.”

Dr. Suzanne Levine DPM advises against using drugstore “corn pads,” which contain salicylic acid that can burn the skin and lead to infection. Permanent correction of corns is usually achieved only with collagen injections or surgery, she says. It’s also recommended that people with corns switch to shoes with a wider toe box or sandals.

Getting A Pedicure Groupon Online

You may think that having a trained professional work on your feet is your best bet, but you can’t just assume that all pedicure salons use sterile instruments. These tools can easily spread germs that cause nail fungus and bacterial infections. To be on the safe side, podiatrists recommend purchasing your own set of nail files, clippers and cuticle sticks. If you do choose to go with the spa’s tools, be sure to shop around for a place that has very strict hygienic procedures in place — rather than just going with “the cheapest one.”

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Image Source: MiniInTheBox.com

Cutting Toenails Straight Across

Some doctors recommend cutting the toenail “straight across” to avoid ingrown toenails. According to the Tanglewood Foot Specialists, “As we age, it is natural for the toenails to curve more. This happens because the natural support to the toenail wears away and the toenails folds around the bone beneath it. While this does not happen to everyone, it is very common. In these cases, trimming the toenail straight across will result in sharp corners of the toenail digging into the skin.” In any event, it’s best to leave the toenails slightly longer and trim along the natural curve of the toe.

Soaking Feet In Vinegar Or Listerine To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus

Vinegar can’t penetrate the layers of the nail to get to the root of the infection. Without proper treatment, the infection can worsen and spread to other nails. This sort of problem does not go away on its own. To cure toenail fungus, you may need a laser treatment or oral medication.

Putting Duct Tape On A Plantar Wart

The New York Times states that a small study in 2002 gave rise to the myth that duct tape was an effective treatment for plantar warts. The idea was that the tape would irritate the skin after a while, causing an immune response. The study found that duct tape applied for six straight days, then soaked in warm water and rubbed with pumice stones, worked better than cryotherapy. The success rate was about 16%. However, a review of 60 studies found that salicylic acid treatments prescribed by a podiatrist had a cure rate of 73% and still represented the best option.


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