10 Hot Healthy Ways To… Have Happy, Healthy, Pretty Feet

10 Hot Healthy Ways To... Have Sandal-Ready Feet

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by Grazia |

With sandal season fast approaching, we caught up with foot expert Margaret Dabbs to find out exactly how we can all have super healthy (and pretty) feet. The founder of Margaret Dabbs London, an independently owned foot and hand care brand, based in London, Margaret is a fully trained podiatrist who set up a series of foot clinics in 1998 and pioneered the ‘medical pedicure’, while creating a range of foot and hand products which have been credited with putting feet firmly into the global beauty arena. Sounds good, right?

1. How do you define a healthy, happy and good looking foot?

A happy, healthy foot is a pain free foot; a foot that is cared for, groomed, moisturised and looked after. It is liberating to have feet that you can show off at any time.

2. What is the best way to achieve said healthy foot?

Interestingly, feet go through exactly the same ageing process as the face – the skin thins, the subcutaneous fat is lost, the soft tissue muscle structures become lax and the sweat glands reduce in effectiveness. With the right treatment and use of the correct products however, the feet not only look visibly different following treatment, they also feel completely different too. A healthy foot is achieved by addressing whatever issues arise, which includes using a foot specific cream to replenish the foot with moisture and treating secondary disturbances such as hard skin and callus. Padding under bony metatarsal heads due to the loss of the subcutaneous fat is also helpful.

@LizHGrazia and @TigerSoul

3. What kinds of foot care maintenance can and can't be done at home?

If a foot is painful, one should always seek medical advice from a foot specialist and not attempt home treatment. However general ageing and unkempt feet can be transformed by using the correct products and instruments at home. People commonly file hard skin in the bath or shower when it is wet. However, this should always be done on dry skin, before you bathe - If skin is soaked in water it is weakened and cracks in the skin are more likely to open as a result. In addition, a foot file will not adhere as well to wet skin and the results of wet foot filing will not be as effective. The use of a specific foot product to moisturise the nails and skin is imperative – the skin on the feet is 12 times thicker than the rest of the body and so body products just will not work – you would not put these on your face so why would you put them on your feet?

4. What exactly is a medical pedicure and who is qualified to carry them out?

A medical pedicure is a treatment that fuses both health and beauty of the feet. It is carried out by a qualified podiatrist, and addresses all aspects of foot health, to include diagnosis and prevention, as well as treatment. Traditionally speaking, podiatrists are known to cure foot pain and pedicurists concern themselves with how a foot looks, however the medical pedicure that I have devised combines these two elements which gives feet that are pain free and also beautifully finished – with fresh, healthy and shiny nails which are more than good enough to go bare.

@LizHGrazia and @AlessandraAmbrosio

5. What should every woman have in her at-home pedicure kit?

Every at-home pedicure kit should possess a good long-handled foot file, a good quality crystal nail file, an exfoliating foot scrub, a treatment foot oil, and a moisturising foot lotion.

6. What foot ailments can be treated at home and which can't?

The first thing to understand is that self-diagnosing and recognising different medical conditions of the feet is very difficult. There is nothing worse than using a verruca preparation on a corn or a corn pad on a verruca – the skin can become painful, reddened and broken, and the ailment remains. One of our most successful products is the Margaret Dabbs Foot Hygiene Cream (£18.00), with emu oil, salicyclic and benzoic acids as well as tea tree oil – it is a brilliant formulation to treat and help prevent both Athlete’s foot and verrucae. It is perfect for general foot hygiene and for feet that have broken skin, itchiness and callus build up and will help to transform difficult feet.


7. Dry, cracked heels ruin the look of our sling-backs – what is the best way to get rid of them?

Dry cracked heels can be easily treated with the use of a foot file on dry skin, followed by the application of an intensive foot moisturiser. With the use of the right products it can take just a few minutes to transform each foot and give immediate confidence. For terrible feet that you think cannot be redeemed use the Margaret Dabbs Foot Hygiene Cream.

8. How often do you recommend women have medical pedicure and normal pedicure respectively?

A medical pedicure can be undertaken every month or 6 weeks if desired, it can be once every 2 months, 3 months, bi-annually or even just annually depending on the person and the feet. The important thing to remember is that you can maintain the medical pedicure results at home with the use of the right foot products.


9. In terms of foot health and appearance, is it possible to wear heels too often?

Foot wear should definitely be varied from day to day – shoes that are too flat can be as damaging as those that are too high, and constant wearing of the same shoe is never recommended as it can encourage poor gait as well as fungal skin conditions if the shoe is not given a chance to dry out before it is worn again.

10. What is the best way to reverse the damage done to nails by regular nail varnish wearing?

Some polish free days will help with nail staining, which can be caused by the severity and deepness of the nail colour or general dehydration because of repetitive varnish application. The best way to address staining is to buff over the nail lightly with a block buffer to reduce the discolouration, and then use a shiner buffer to seal and give a good shine to the nail, then apply a nourishing nail and cuticle serum. The Margaret Dabbs Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Serum (£12.00) and Intensive Treatment Foot Oil (£22.00), that both contain emu oil, both work wonders to repair dehydrated nails very quickly. These products also work to repair nails that have been adversely affected by the wearing of gel on the nails.

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