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The nail cuticle is one of the most commonly misunderstood parts of the nail. Regardless if you know what the cuticle is exactly, you most certainly know when it’s not right. Dry, hardened skin around the toenails and dead skin growing up onto the toenail bed is unsightly at best. (In fact, cuticle on the nail bed can even prevent nail polish from adhering to the nail!) At worst, bad cuticles can be painful and bleed and even present a risk for people with certain medical conditions (such as diabetes).
No matter where your cuticle concerns lie on the spectrum, keeping the cuticles softened and hydrated is the remedy. Here, learn the best cuticle care tips sure to get your cuticles and feet back into shape by the next sandal season.
Frequently, all of the skin surrounding the nail is collectively called the cuticle; however, the true cuticle is really only the thin, translucent layer of non-living skin that is firmly attached to the nail bed. This dead skin gets stuck on the nail plate and “rides” the nail as it grows. The cuticle actually serves an important function—it acts as a seal which prevents infection by blocking microorganisms from getting under the skin.
Though the cuticle is technically only the dead tissue on the nail plate, does it matter? Not really. Frequently, the skin around the entire toenail is extremely dry and unattractive. And good toe and foot health means keeping all of these areas—the cuticle, the living tissue at the base of and around the nail, and the skin under the toenail’s free edge—soft, hydrated and injury free.
Pedicures by a professional nail technician are always a good practice. Through regular pedicures, your pedicurist will keep the nails clean, neatly trimmed and free of excess cuticle that may be hard to see and fix on yourself. Another benefit is that your pedicurist has access to professional-use only products that consumers can’t get at home, such as the Footlogix® Cuticle Softener and Footlogix® Cuticle Conditioner. These products contain professional-grade ingredients which are highly effective when used by a trained nail technician. Regular pedicures also allow your pedicurist to check for changes in your toenails and recommend the appropriate Footlogix® at-home treatments for your particular foot and cuticle issues.
Even if you regularly moisturize your feet, using a product specifically formulated for the protection and care of the cuticle and dry skin around the toenails is a must. Be sure to avoid home-care cuticle products which may feel like they’re working initially, but actually contain ingredients, such as alcohol, that dehydrate the skin—causing a bad cuticle problem to get worse.
During a Footlogix® professional pedicure, your pedicurist will use the Footlogix® Professional Cuticle Conditioner Lotion. This light, non-greasy lotion contains no oils and doesn’t occlude (block) the skin. Formulated with the Footlogix®-patented Dermal Infusion Technology®, your pedicurist will use the Footlogix® Cuticle Conditioner to deliver active ingredients deep into the cuticles and skin around the toenails, keeping the cuticle area healthy and hydrated. The results are long term (and good for fingers too!).
What makes the Footlogix® Cuticle Conditioner different from regular lotion? The product is free of alcohol and synthetic oils. It contains natural active ingredients that perform specific functions, such as:
Many cuticle treatments on the market are harsh cuticle removers. These products often contain acidic, aggressive ingredients designed to chemically release the cuticle from the nail plate. While these products may effectively remove the cuticle, they also strip the skin of essential moisture and balance.
When treating the cuticle, strong, aggressive ingredients are unnecessary. The goal of good cuticle care is to soften the cuticle so it can be gently pushed off the nail plate. Softening ingredients also retain essential moisture and prep the skin around the nail to readily accept additional hydration.
During a professional pedicure, your Footlogix® pedicurist will use the Footlogix® Professional Cuticle Softener—a must have for cuticles on toes. Its gentle, non-aggressive, fast-acting formula contains urea which has the ability to absorb and retain moisture for long lasting results. Your pedicurist will apply a small amount directly onto the cuticles and toenail after soaking the feet and then allow it to absorb for 60 seconds. Excess skin and debris can then be removed easily. The Footlogix® Cuticle Softener is so gentle, it does not need to be washed off. It will continue to soften the skin well after treatment.
Without the cuticle sealing the opening where the toenail erupts from under the skin, your toes aren’t protected from bacteria. Likewise, any nick or cut is a potential opening for pathogenic organisms that can cause infections. This is especially dangerous for diabetics and others who suffer from circulation issues. Without adequate blood flow, the feet can be dry, frail, prone to infection and slow to heal—increasing the risk of ulcers an infection. Cutting around the nail can also exacerbate cuticle issues as fractured skin is more likely to dry out and split into hangnails.
With consistent professional pedicures using effective, yet non-aggressive products, like the Footlogix® Cuticle Softener, the cuticle will soften and heal without the need for forceful scraping and cutting with sharp implements. If the cuticle is especially stubborn, your pedicurist will use an orangewood stick to gently push the cuticle back towards the base of the nail.