Glossary

Arch - The arch of the foot is the area of the bottom of the foot between the heel pad and toe pad.

Acrokeratosis verruciformis - a hereditary dermatosis characterized by the presence of numerous flat wart-like papules on the dorsal aspect of the hand, foot, elbow, and knee.

Ankle - the part of the leg just above the foot; the joint between the leg and the foot. It is a hinge joint formed by the junction of the tibia and fibula with the talus, or ankle bone. The bones are cushioned by cartilage and connected by a number of ligaments, tendons, and muscles that strengthen the joint and enable it to be moved. Because it is in almost constant use, the ankle is particularly susceptible to injuries, such as sprain and fracture. It is also often one of the first joints to be affected by arthritis or gout.

Ankle clonus - a series of abnormal reflex movements of the foot, induced by sudden dorsiflexion, causing alternate contraction and relaxation of the triceps surae muscle.

Athlete's foot - a fungal infection of the skin of the foot; called also tinea pedis. It causes itching and often blisters and cracks, usually between the toes. Causative agents are Candida albicans, Epidermophyton floccosum, and species of Trichophyton, which thrive on warmth and dampness. If not arrested, it can cause a rash and itching in other parts of the body as well. It is likely to be recurrent, since the fungus survives under the toenails and reappears when conditions are favorable. Although Athlete''s foot is usually little more than an uncomfortable nuisance, its open sores provide excellent sites for more serious infections. Early treatment and health care supervision insure correct diagnosis and prevention of complications. Specific diagnosis is made by microscopic examination or culture of skin scrapings for the fungus.

Increased media attention has heightened awareness for the spread of infections from shared instruments and unhygienic practices in many salons. One way to avoid any exposure is to do pedicures for yourself at home. Here are some easy steps to follow that will make sure to keep your feet safe:

1. Soak your feet in warm soapy water for approximately 10 minutes. This helps soften and clean skin and nails.

2. After the foot soaking, gently rub the skin with a pumice stone or emery board. This gets rid of dead skin cells and calluses. Some body scrub products can help exfoliate dead skin. (Please contact our office if you have deep calluses or corns and need help shaving them.)

3. Push back the cuticles with an orange stick or a Hindu stone. Cuticles offer protection from bacteria and infection. Cuticles clearly overhanging the nail margins need to be carefully trimmed. Do not trim any further than the nail margin or draw blood as this can lead to infection.

4. Trim toenails straight across rather than in a curved pattern. This helps prevent ingrown toenails, allowing the straight edge of the nail to advance as one unit. Toenails should be trimmed just enough so that you can see a few millimeters of skin just beyond the nail margin. Nails should not overhang the edge of the toe.

5. Refine the nail edge with an emery board, maintaining the straight edge.

6. Apply cream and moisturizing lotion to the skin and nail margins.

7. Massage the cream or lotion into the feet. A foot massage can help relieve tension and tired, aching feet. You can get a good massage at home by rolling your feet back and forth over a rolling pin or bottle. Specialists in the body's reflexes, called reflexologists, believe that points on the foot correspond to other body parts and ailments can be relieved through reflexology. They believe the ball of the foot has a connection to the lungs, the heel to the lower back, and the great toe to the head. Although no scientific research exists to back up these claims, reflexology does seem to produce positive results in some people.

8. Apply nail polish remover to the nails to gently remove excess lotion. This allows nail polish to adhere better to the nail. To apply nail polish, start with a base coat, followed by one or two coats of the nail color, and, finally, a clear topcoat.

9. Space your pedicures apart by approximately eight weeks.




Sterling and Gaston