Friday, March 1, 2024

Identify Four Major Foot Problems

As a nail tech, we are prepared to recognize–and know how to handle–a foot malady before the first swipe of our file. Here, we identify four common foot issues...

  • Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is the layperson’s term for a fungal infection, or tinea pedis. Although it usually only affects the superficial layers of the skin, the problem isn’t superficial at all; the infection is easily picked up, especially via exposure of feet and contact with communal areas, such as locker rooms and showers. The condition shows up as dry, flake, scaly skin between the toes and around the sides of the foot, accompanied by intense itching and burning. Another less obvious presentation of the disorder, notes Katharin Von Gavel, founder and CEO of Footlogix, “is dry or rough feet, to the point where they catch on bedsheets at night. But, moisturizers just don’t work.” She adds that today’s practice of wearing flip-flops leaves our feet more prone to drying out. The dry skin then creates portals through which fungi can enter. Middle-aged and elderly women are especially vulnerable to this problem.

What should clients do?

Although nail techs cannot diagnose, you can suggest clients try a moisturizer with an anti-fungal and advise them to change shoes and socks frequently, avoid exposure in common areas and keep feet in good condition to lower risk of infection. You should also encourage clients to see a medical professional; There are many OTC and prescription preparations for treating tinea pedis.

  • Cracked Heels
Cracked heels arise from dry, dead skin that has built up over time–the resulting thick calluses split and cause pain. In some cases, the cracks are deep enough to bleed because they’ve gone into the epidermal layer. Not only is this condition painful, it can be dangerous, as it leaves the body open to viral, fungal or bacterial infection.

What should clients do?

If cracks aren’t deep enough to require medical attention, the solution is consistent home and professional care focused on exfoliation and hydration to help the skin heal.

  • Bunions

A bunion is a progressive deformity of the joint of the big toe, usually due to an inherited faulty mechanical structure in the foot, and it appears as a bump on the side of the big toe. Although it isn’t always painful, bunions are still the most common reason for foot pain, and can cause inflammation and even numbness.

What should clients do?

Shoes don’t cause bunions, but high heels or a tight toe box can worsen the condition. Bunion pads, icing and anti-inflammatory medications can provide relief–if not, doctors can offer injection therapy, orthotics or surgery.

  • Plantar Warts 
Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (aka, the HPV virus). “They look like rough bumps that disrupt the “fingerprint” lines on the palms of hands and soles of feet,” says Hudacek. “They are harmless, but can be painful to walk on.” If not in a weight-bearing area, a wart can go undetected for years. The bumps may resemble a callus, but with tiny black dots on their surface (from dried blood contained in the capillaries).

What should clients do?

Although some home remedies exist, doctors urge patients with warts to never try to remove them at home. Topical and oral treatments, laser therapy, cryotherapy, acid treatments or surgery are available.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Nail Anatomy Refresher

Basic nail anatomy is one of the first things you learn in school and a big focus of your state board exam. Yet, techs often find themselves communicating with clients using the words clients say, even if those terms aren’t technically correct. For instance, many techs incorrectly refer to the eponychium as the cuticle because it’s what clients are familiar with. As a professional, it’s critical that laymen’s language doesn’t replace your credentialed knowledge of a nail’s anatomical parts. Here, a refresher on the essential parts of the nail, from base to tip and everything in between.

Located beneath the skin at the nail’s base, the matrix contains nerves and blood and lymph vessels that produce nail cells. The new cells flatten and are pushed forward toward the fingertip resulting in nail growth. Damage to this important and sensitive area can result in nail plate irregularities, which can sometimes be irreversible, warns Janet McCormick, co-owner of NailCare Academy in Fort Myers, Florida. Be sure to avoid excessive pressure when pushing back the cuticle and aggressive use of hand or e-files when working in this area.

The lunula, or the whitish “small moon” at the base of the nail, gets its color from the nuclei of living nail cells transitioning from the matrix. As the nail grows, those cells lose viability and the nuclei disintegrate, making the nail transparent. A common myth is that an obvious lunula signals a healthy nail. But, in fact, a client’s genetics is mostly responsible for the lunula’s appearance.

The word proximal means situated near the point of origin or attachment—which in nail anatomy is the matrix. To that end, the proximal nail fold is a fold of skin that forms a protective barrier to keep bacteria and infection from reaching the matrix.

The eponychium is the visible “lip” of the proximal nail fold. It forms a seal with the nail plate, protecting the matrix from harmful bacteria. Many people mistakenly refer to the eponychium as the cuticle, which is why the adage, ‘Never cut the cuticle!’ is common, although technically incorrect. Indeed, the eponychium is living skin and should never be cut. Instead, moisturize, then very gently push the eponychium back for an even, symmetrical appearance and encourage clients to keep the skin surrounding the nail consistently hydrated between appointments.

The cuticle is the layer of translucent skin that is shed from the underside of the proximal nail fold as the nail grows. This skin emerges from beneath the eponychium attached to the nail plate. Since this tissue is dead, most of it can be safely cut or filed off—and, in fact, you should! Doing so will improve adhesion of polish and enhancements.

The nail bed is the skin underneath the nail plate. It contains blood vessels that supply nutrients to the fingertip. Sometimes, people confuse the nail bed with the nail plate, as in, “Oh, you have such pretty nail beds,” but the compliment is likely meant for the nail plate, rather than the skin it rests on.

The nail plate is the hard, keratin coating on the fingertip. For techs, this is where the magic happens—be it lacquer, gel polish or a set of sculpted tips. Removing the shine from the nail plate is a common step in many nail services, but it’s important to stop there! The nail plate can become thin, weak and sensitive when layers are removed by filing or improper enhancement removal.

The lateral nail fold is the continuation of the proximal nail fold along each side of the nail. It serves to protect the sides of the nail plate.

The perionychium is the skin surrounding the nail and it’s frequently a problem area. “It’s prone to hangnails and it’s where most clients will pick or bite which can lead to infection,” says Los Angeles-based celebrity nail tech Michelle Saunders. She encourages clients to always keep the area moisturized because dehydration can lead to further hangnails and painful splintering.

The hyponychium is the skin that forms the seal between the nail plate and the nail bed where the free edge begins. This area is very vascular and sensitive, so avoid aggressively cleaning under the free edge with implements. Not only is this painful and will bleed a lot if the skin is cut, but damaging the hyponychium can cause onycholysis, or the lifting of the nail plate from the nail bed, leaving the area susceptible to infections and fungus, says McCormick.

Sometimes called the distal edge because its situated furthest from the nail’s origin, the free edge is the growth of the nail beyond the fingertip.

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

How to Whiten Yellow Nails

 

 
What’s the secret to getting clean white nails? Follow along for two ways to achieve a clean nail look!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

12 Tips for Stronger Nails

The good news is that we can always make changes to our lifestyle and habits to help strengthen our nails and get them where we’d like.

Here are 12 tips that you can use to help strengthen your nails in no time.

1. Take a biotin supplement

Biotin, also known as vitamin H and vitamin B7, is one of the B vitamins. Because it’s water-soluble, it isn’t stored by the body, so you have to ensure that you consume it daily.

Biotin can help strengthen hair and nails. It also helps the body’s nervous system to function properly.

It can be found in foods like sardines, cooked eggs, and legumes, or you can take a B vitamin supplement.

2. Minimize exposure to water

Too much soaking in water can cause your nails to become weak and brittle. Wear gloves when washing dishes, and try to keep your hands out of the water while taking a bath.

It’s impossible to always avoid submerging your hands, of course, but this is something to be mindful of.

3. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is essential for health, and nail health is no exception. Without adequate moisture, nails can become brittle and break and peel easily. Drinking enough water helps them to retain moisture and stay strong.

4. Pay attention to your diet

Make sure you’re eating a nutrient-dense and varied diet, as well as taking a multivitamin with minerals. A diet that’s deficient in crucial vitamins and minerals can affect your entire body — including your nails.

5. Be careful about the products you use

  • Nail polish and remover

Many nail polishes or treatments contain harsh chemicals that can actually weaken nails. Nail polish remover that contains acetone should be avoided since it can damage nails.

Look for nontoxic nail polishes and soaks as well as an acetone-free polish remover.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source warns against other potentially harmful chemicals found in everyday nail care products.

  • Hand sanitizer and cleaning products

If you use hand sanitizer, try not to get it on your nails, and use it in moderation. The alcohol-based sanitizer dries out nails (and hands), leading to brittle nails.

When cleaning around the house, wear rubber gloves. Many cleaning products or cleaning wipes contain chemicals that can weaken the nail. Gloves help you to avoid contact with these chemicals.

  • Shampoo

If you’re using a shampoo that is drying or aims to strip oils (that is, meant for oily hair), it might dry out your nails and cause weak or brittle nails.

Try changing your shampoo for a couple of weeks and see whether you notice a difference.

6. Avoid using gel or acrylic nails, if possible

While these are touted as an easy alternative for those who have trouble growing their nails, frequent use can cause your nails to peel, which weakens them. But if you’d still like to wear them, be sure to give your nails a break in between applications.

Exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) light required for gel polish has been identified as a risk factor for cancer, although more researchTrusted Source is needed.

Exposure also ages the skin that supports a healthy nail. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying sunscreen to your hands at least 20 minutes before your hands are exposed to UV light.

7. Give your nails a break from polish

Along those same lines, although nail polish looks nice, your nails need to breathe. Constant use of polish, even nontoxic polish, can weaken the nail.

After wearing nail polish for a week or so, remove the nail polish with an acetone-free polish remover, and then let your nails be polish-free for a week.

8. Keep your nails on the shorter side

Long nails are more likely to break and be caught on things, while shorter nails are less likely to be chipped, cracked, or split, helping to keep them strong.

9. Don’t use your nails as a tool

Instead, use the pads of your fingers to open up a soda can or use a paper clip to reach something in a small space. Using your nails as tools can lead to breakage and chipping, which can in turn weaken the nail

10. Use lotion on your nails

After removing polish, or if you think you’re not hydrated enough, use hand cream on your hands, making sure to moisturize your nails. You can do this every time you wash your hands.

11. Change how you file your nails

Filing your nails in a back-and-forth motion like a saw can actually weaken your nails. Instead, file them in one direction.

Also, go easy on the sides of the nails since filing too much there can weaken the nail.

12. Talk with your doctor

If you’ve tried multiple things for several weeks and haven’t noticed any change in your nails, see a dermatologist or another skin care professional. They can take a look at your nails and ask you questions about your routine and overall health.

Article Source

Sunday, February 18, 2024

How Pedicures Help with Stress Relief

Pedicures are a great way to relax and de-stress. They can help to improve circulation, reduce pain, and boost your mood. If you’re feeling stressed, a pedicure can be a great way to take some time for yourself and pamper yourself.

Here are some of the ways that pedicures can help with stress relief:

1.) Massage

The massage that is part of a pedicure can help to improve circulation and reduce tension in the feet and legs. This can help to relieve stress and promote relaxation. There are lots of pressure points in your feet that can help relief stress and tension just by massaging them properly.

2.) Heat therapy

Many pedicures include a foot soak in warm water. This can help to relax the muscles in the feet and legs and promote circulation. Some spas will even use warm towels to the legs and feet as a form of heat therapy.

3.) Aromatherapy

Some pedicures include aromatherapy, which can help to reduce stress and improve mood. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and peppermint are often used in aromatherapy pedicures. If you are sensitive to any of these scents and prefer a non-fragrant pedicure please let your nail tech know.

4.) Color therapy

Some pedicures include color therapy, which can also help to reduce stress and improve mood. Different colors are associated with different emotions, so choosing the right colors for your pedicure can help to promote relaxation. If you need help selecting a color or are torn between a few, don't hesitate to ask for help! Sometimes choosing the color can be the most difficult part, let us at UpKept relieve you of that!

5.) Music

Some pedicures include relaxing music, which can help to further promote relaxation. Listening to calming music can help to take your mind off of your troubles and focus on the present moment.

If you’re looking for a way to relax and de-stress, a pedicure is a great option. It’s a way to pamper yourself and take some time for yourself. Plus, it can help to improve your circulation, reduce pain, and boost your mood.

Here are some additional tips for getting the most out of your pedicure:

1.) Choose a relaxing location

If you can, choose a salon that is quiet and relaxing. This will help you to fully relax and enjoy your pedicure. We would love to assist you on this relaxing experience at UpKept Spa. Contact us today to book your pedicure appointment with us.

2.) Ask for aromatherapy

If you’re interested in aromatherapy, ask your pedicurist if they offer it. They can add essential oils to the water in your foot soak or to the lotion that they use to massage your feet.

3.) Choose your colors wisely

The colors that you choose for your pedicure can also affect your mood. If you’re feeling stressed, choose colors that are calming and relaxing, such as blues, greens, or lavender.

4.) Take your time

Don’t feel rushed during your pedicure. Take your time and enjoy the experience.

Article Source


Thursday, February 15, 2024

We've Moved!



UpKept

Megan Tallerico
Owner/Operator

536 Main St.
Vacaville CA 95688
(Inside Jon Edwards Salon & Spa)

707-208-7646

Open 7 Days 
By Appointment Only

Nails; Manicure & Pedicure

Cosmetology Lic KK54192
Business Lic 037799

Monday, February 12, 2024

How To Care For Your Nails After A Manicure

We all know how good it feels to get a manicure, it can help us to feel put together and fresh. Manicures can last between 24 hours to two weeks, however if you look after your nails and keep them in top condition, they can last even longer. Plus, it’s even more TLC for your hands and nails, what more could you want? Here are a few tips to help keep your manicure prime and perfected longer! 

Cuticle Oil will be your best friend

Cuticle oil can be made from vegetable oils, citric acid and various vitamins. It can also include jojoba oil and flaxseed oil. Cuticle oil is a thin consistency to allow it to absorb easily into the skin. 

Without it, your nails can become brittle, dull and chapped. It is important to use cuticle oil in order to keep your nails nourished and hydrated. It improves not only the appearance of your nails but the circulation around your nails in order to promote healthy nail growth and stimulation. Cuticle oil can furthermore protect any polish or gel on your nails to help with its longevity.  

Avoid picking

For some of us, picking our nails can be a bad habit, subconscious or not. It can be easy to start picking or pulling polish off whilst your mind wanders, especially if you are feeling anxious. However, we advise to resist the temptation to pick as this can leave your manicure looking uneven. 

Also, if the polish is not removed in the correct method, it can damage your natural nail. It can be left thin, flaky and weak. 

Try not to cut or file your manicure

For those who are new to gel or shellac manicures, it can be hard to get out of the habit of cutting and filing your nails. It seems like such a natural, important step in nail care. However, cutting and filing your nails can actually cause way more harm than good. Cutting the nail will break the seal at the top of the nail and therefore make your gel manicure way more prone to chipping and peeling. 

Similarly, filing your manicure can also damage this seal. If you are in desperate need of filing due to a snag or jagged tip, take care to file your nail in a gentle, downwards direction. Avoid buffing altogether as this will mess with the texture of the polish. 

Wear gloves for household chores

This is in no way essential, however if you are trying to maintain your manicure for as long as possible, you can wear gloves when doing more hands-on jobs such as gardening and washing up. This will keep the manicure protected. 

Avoid solvent products

Solvents are liquids that have a dissolving property. Naturally, this can dissolve your manicure if exposed to it. Solvents can be found in some beauty products, tanning products and also insect repellent. 

Don’t use your nails in place of tools

Some of us may be guilty of trying to pry a lid open with our longer manicured nails, or using them to scratch something. Whilst this may get the job done, there are plenty of objects or tools to use in place of your manicured nails that won’t cause any damage. This poses a high risk of snagging, chipping or even breakage. We don’t want you to hurt yourself in the process! 

Try not to tap directly with your nails 

Living in a digital age, we are constantly tied to our laptops and phones. Tapping away all day on keyboards can be very repetitive. Make sure to try to tap with your finger tip rather than with the manicure nail as this can chip the nails and even cause trauma to your nails especially with long nails.

Don’t overuse antibacterial gel

With alcohol as a main ingredient, antibacterial gel is notorious for drying out skin and cuticles. Over washing can lead to parched skin and can also make the manicure top coat appear dull.

Source