Spa

By Candice Sabatini

Dr. Johanna S. Youner

Q. When is a pedicure more than just a pedicure?
A. When it’s done by a podiatrist!

It’s that time of year twinkle toes. Your toesies are ready for a new spring color that looks great with the sexy new Gladiator style sandals, and you’re thinking it’s time to get those winter feet of yours to the nearest nail salon for some pampering and dead skin removal.

Yeah….not so fast. Have you considered what’s going on health wise with your feet? Honestly, I never thought much about it. Luckily, my feet have never given me any problems. My only problem with shoes are the prices, not in the fit or comfort, and so when I heard about getting a Medi-Pedi from a doctor, I was only mildly interested. But in the interest of bringing you, our devoted readers, the most important information for all things to keep us beautiful, I went ahead and booked an appointment with the cheerful Dr. Johanna Youner.

Dr. Youner, a knowledgeable podiatrist with a bubbly personality loves feet and clearly loves her chosen profession. I expected to have her look at my feet, get rid of some calluses and send me on my way. Instead, I learned about the skin on my feet (we’re both redheads and we have different skin issues that you blondes and brunettes), and I learned that my extremely high arches – which I always thought were great – could possibly be my downfall and cause me to have bunions in the future! Huh….moi???

A thorough explanation of foot anatomy taught me that I should be wearing arch supports in my shoes, something I thought were only for people with flat feet. She recommended SuperFeet Insoles, a $20. insert that’s available in models for both flat and high heeled shoes. My subsequent phone calls with questions to the SuperFeet customer service got email replies from their doctors who really cared that I wear the appropriate model for myself.

In a sandal, or a shoe with open sides, or a sling back, the Superfeet Insoles won’t work. In that case, Dr. Youner recommends Anita Arch Cushions by heaven4toes. ($10.) also a great product. These arch cushions adhere onto the arch of your shoe to give your feet support. To hide them in sandals, have your shoemaker position them and then glue a strip of leather over them. Problem solved!

I asked Dr. J to explain the difference between a Medi-Pedi and a spa pedi.

“A medi-pedi is a combination of full foot examination by a podiatrist, soak in medicated foot soak, debridement of any corn/callous type tissue, nail debridement, and exfoliation/moisturizing therapy. If there are any medical problems discovered and treated, these can be noted and discussed in full. If there are medical problems that are covered by insurance, the visit can be covered by insurance.

A pure medical pedicure is considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance, although at $75 is the same price as some high end pedicures. I do everything except the polish. It is also a way for a person who is fearful of the doctor to have an examination without the threat of a scary medical treatment. Many people are worried that a problem with their feet has gone on for a long time and the treatment could be scary/painful etc. It is my job to examine and tell them how their foot health is, are there any problems that could benefit from treatment.”

I’m so happy I went to see her and learned what I did about my feet and am now protecting myself from possible future problems. She was also generous enough to give me some free samples of various foot creams. I highly recommend a visit at least once a year to keep feet at their healthiest. Hey, we’ve got to walk on them….AND wear hot looking shoes! After a visit, if there are no medical issues to be dealt with, then you can go to the local spas or nail salons around town for the basic pedicure with polish – but bring your own tools and make sure they bleach those sinks!

Dr. Johanna S. Youner
40 Park Ave at 36th Street
NYC, NY
212-683-7757
http://www.healthyfeetny.com

Both Anita Arch Cushions and Superfeet Insoles can be bought at Dr. Youner’s office or on http://www.superfeet.com and http://www.heaven4toes.com
Both sites have more information on how to use their products.

Dr. Johanna S. Youner, DPM, FACFAS, has board Certification from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, and was the Director of Podiatry of New York Downtown Hospital.

Originally published May 2009
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