Archive: Body

Beauty treatment that can turn dangerous: pedicures?

I was a bit shocked to see this article on Huffington Post this afternoon. Yes, I know the dangers of getting a pedicure in a salon. I know those tools are probably not as clean as they should be.

I was thrilled to find  a salon last week that opened my pedicure tools like they were in an operating room. My clippers, etc., were vacuum sealed in their own packet, and it was opened fresh for me. That was VERY comforting (and I’ll be going back there for sure).

But in case you didn’t know – here are some things to watch out for!

You may have a little more trouble relaxing into that massage chair with a magazine after this one — an unsanitary pedicure could lead a viral infection (such as warts), bacterial infections from ingrown toenails and agressive filing, or a fungal infection of the skin and nails, among other serious health problems, says Jackie Sutera, a New York City podiatrist.

Since some salons have better sanitizing practices than others, she recommends that you always bring your own tools (her favorites are Tweezerman), including cuticle nippers, toe clippers, a nail file, nail clippers and, most importantly, a foot file. “That’s one of the dirtiest things in that whole salon,” she says. “There’s a misconception that because they put it in a blue solution or because they put it in a thing that looks like a toaster oven, it’s clean — but it might not be.”

Sutera recommends hitting the spa earlier in the day, when things tend to be a bit cleaner and sanitary — before dozens of feet have soaked in the same bath on the same day and before technicians have a possibility of getting tired. And she would skip the “Wednesday Special” (that too-good-to-be true package deal for a mani/pedi combo), as it drives a lot of business and, correspondingly, could up your germ exposure.

Also, don’t give into the temptation to soak your feet too long. “It’s a cesspool in there,” Sutera says of the foot bath. “Don’t sit there and soak in that water forever.”

As far as those foot razors that promise to shave your callouses down for sandal-ready feet — skip it. “It’s really dangerous,” Sutera explains. Going at the heels too hard can reveal deep layers of skin that should never be exposed, leading to permanent damage or even scarring. Instead, just keep a pumice stone in your shower to keep up with the daily maintenance yourself.

Don’t shave your legs for at least 24 hours before the appointment, suggests Jessica Krant, Founder of Art of Dermatology in New York City — freshly shaved skin can be more prone to infection, especially when a technician is massaging up your thighs.

Post-pedi, slip your toes into your own flip flops — and for extra safety, clean your own feet when you get back home, Sutera says.

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Jennifer Hudson is more proud of her weight loss than her Oscar!

Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson opens up in the new SELF Magazine, and in the interview she admits that she believes her weight loss is her biggest achievement!

Why she decided to get healthy: “It really started when I was pregnant with David, who’s 2 now, and I thought, Hold on—why doesn’t anybody know I’m pregnant? And I wanted to set a good example for my son. Right after I had him, I began trying to change things.”

Was she unhappy with her appearance before? “No, never. I remember one of my first times on a red carpet, an interviewer asked, ‘How does it feel to be plus-sized in Hollywood?’ I looked around, like, Who is she talking to? Oh, me? I’m plus-sized? In the neighborhood I’m from in Chicago, a 16 is normal. But in Hollywood, everyone looks exactly the same, so I stood out.”

Did that realization hurt? “I find the positive in everything. I like my curves, so it didn’t bother me. My fiancé, David’s father [also named David], and I both knew we didn’t learn to eat right and be healthy as kids, so we wanted to for him.”

She’s had significant weight losses before: “I’ve had three different weight losses. Before American Idol in ‘04, I lost 60 pounds. Then I lost the 20 pounds I had to gain for my role in Dreamgirls, which came out in ‘06. This is the third time I’ve lost a lot.”

Is it different this time? “Oh, my God, by far. That first time, I was a workout fanatic. I’d go to the gym at 5 in the morning and run for an hour, go home, sleep and be back at the gym at 1 p.m. for another full workout. Then I’d come home and do Tae-Bo. That was my whole day. Plus, all I’d eat was skinless chicken breast, brown rice and vegetables. What are you going to do once you lose weight? Eat everything you gave up!”

How she got herself started this time: “Four days after my cesarean section, I began walking 30 minutes every day. It was my therapy, my moment to myself, and it was all I could do. I figured, me walking is better than me sitting on the couch. Even if I can’t climb a mountain or do 100,000 push-ups, these steps matter, and they’re leading somewhere. I started with walking, but before long, I built up to other things. When I didn’t want to be cooped up in the gym, I’d come up with other options. I’d ask myself, What do I love? I love being outside and feeling free, so I would jog or ride my bike. Some days, I’d play basketball and tennis.”

Do people treat you differently? “Yes! You never know you’re being discriminated against until you see what you’ve been deprived of. Everybody wants you to wear this or put you on the cover of that. Before, my career was great, but since losing weight, I haven’t stopped. I have worked every single day of this year.”

How about your fans? “Some love it and say they’re inspired, and others don’t. Some have even questioned whether I can still sing. My voice has gotten stronger! I can’t care about whether I’m too big for some or too small for others. It goes back to how you feel about yourself. I like me the way I am. For anyone who wants to lose: Dude, if I can do it, you can do it. And for those who want to stay the same, I hope I can be an example to you, too; I was proud of being a big girl.”

What was the key to your loss? “It’s like my mother said: ‘Well, honey, when there is a will, there is a way.’ You have to want it, but don’t rush yourself. When you’re ready, you’ll set goals for yourself. Once you do, it’s good to have support, but you don’t need it, because everything you need is in you. I’m prouder of my weight loss than my Oscar! I hope it has inspired people.”

 

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Bethenny Frankel admits: “I’m too thin”

In the new issue of Life & Style, on newsstands now, Bethenny Frankel talks candidly about how she’s overcome her struggles with body image and is now working hard to keep her weight on track.

While the 40-year-old reality star turned mom has been showing off a healthier figure as of late,  Bethenny still admits, “I’m too thin. Because I’m so busy, I’m not always hungry. I have to make myself eat more because of my busy schedule.” On top of the many hours she puts in on her show, Bethenny Ever After, she is constantly on the go promoting her ever expanding Skinnygirl franchise and caring for her 15-monthold daughter, Bryn.  But while Bethenny exercises regularly she tries not to go overboard. “Girls put a lot of pressure on themselves to be skinny,” she acknowledges. “They don’t understand that it’s not about a quick fix — but a healthy lifestyle.”

Bethenny confessed that in the past she would starve herself, binge on laxatives and try fad diets until just a few years ago. “I was completely obsessed my entire life, until my 30s.” These days she makes sure to eat sensible meals, whereas in the past she would drink alcohol and not eat, only to binge later in the evening.  But those days of abusing her body and depriving herself are over, “Everything I do [now] is about being healthier,” she shares.

At least she can admit it?

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