Category Archives: Beauty & Skincare

Learn About Your Hair

There are not many places on our bodies which are not covered by some kind of hair. It is obvious on our scalp, armpits, legs, pubic area, arms and eyebrows, lids, the chest and face  (on men).

  • The Structure

The part of the hair we can see is called the shaft. The shaft is connected to a part of the skin called the follicle. The shaft is formed from a protein called keratin and is made of dead tissue. The hair develops from a root which is at the end of the follicle in the scalp and is fed and nourished by the bloodstream. The root is about 3 – 5 mm deep in the skin on the scalp. The daily rate of growth is between ¼ – ½ mm. If the root is damaged, the hair may fall out and never regrow.

A sebaceous gland is also in the follicle. This gland secretes a greasy substance called sebum. The sebum lubricates the hair shaft and the skin around the shaft and can also give the hair a ‘greasy’ look.

The follicle also contains small muscles which contract when you are nervous, cold, afraid or shocked. The hair shaft them stand on end and gather up the skin around the shaft to form ‘goose pimples’.

  • Hair Growth


Hair growth is not continuous all throughout our lives. Hair goes into resting phases when not growth takes place. The hairs which are resting become clubbed in shape and lose the normal pigmentation. Only about 10% of our scalp hairs are in this resting phase at any one time. The follicles are not damaged during this time and it is totally normal for the hairs to fall out, when the hair have stopped resting they will grow again.

  • Hair Colour


A substance which lines the follicles and is mixed in with the keratin is a pigment called melanin. This stains the keratin and gives the hair its colour. The colour is part of your individual genetic make-up. As we age, the melanin stops being produced and we go grey. The time which this starts happening can be affected by heredity, continuous stress and worries and emotional shock.

Aromatherapy For Skin Care

Aromatherapy offers a natural alternative to commercial skin care products with the added benefit of being relatively inexpensive.

You are able to mix and blend your own selection of essential oils to benefit your skin type perfectly.

For Normal to Dry Skin

  • Cleanse with the following blend – 10ml sweet almond oil, 5 drops of lavender oil. To make this an exfoliant scrub, add some ground nuts or oatmeal to form a paste.

  • Rinse this off with a washer or face towel that has been soaked in lukewarm water with 2 drops of either rose or sandalwood essential oils. Remember to always avoid the eye area. This acts as a toner for the skin.

  • Moisturize in the day with – 20g of an unscented base cream which suits your skin type mixed with 3 drops ofpalmarosa oil, 2 drops sandalwood oil 4 drops of rose in jojoba oil and 5 drops neroli in jojoba oil.

If you need a mask, make up the following mixture and leave on the face for 10 – 30 minutes  –

  • 2 drops sandalwood oil

  • 2 drops neroli oil

  • 1 drop roman chamomile oil

  • 1 tablespoon honey.

  • Rinse off with lukewarm water. Always use the mask before moisturizing.

If your skin is particularly dry, try performing a steam inhalation before moisturizing the skin.

Add a few drops of lavender oil and lean over a bowl of hot water for several minutes.

For Normal to Oily Skin


1.  Cleanse by adding the following essential oils to 50g of grated pure soap or a natural liquid soap, mixing well.

  • 2 drops of lemon oil

  • 2 drops of cypress oil

  • 4 drops geranium oil

  • 50g your favorite natural soap mix.

Massage this mixture gently onto the face and throat area. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

2. Tone by rinsing the face with a citrus floral water or you can add two drops of lemon oil to a bowl of warm water and sponge over the face. Do not use near the eyes.

3.  Moisturizing – mix together the following –

  • 2 drops lemon oil

  • 2 drops cypress oil

  • 2 drops geranium oil

  • 3 drops cedarwood oil

  • 30g base cream

If you need a mask to help refine the look of your skin, apply the following blend to the face and leave for 30 minutes.

  • 2 teaspoons natural yogurt

  • 2 drops lemon oil

  • 1 drop geranium oil

  • 1 drop ylang ylang oil

Use this mixture before moisturizing then rinse off with warm water.

If you have pimples, apply tea tree oil essential oil neat onto the spot or you can add 2 drops of the oil into a dab of base cream and apply to your whole face. Repeat 2 or 3 times per day


Alpha Hydroxy Acids

What does AHA stand for?

AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acid. This substance has exfoliating and skin-softening properties. There are different AHAs, including glycolic acid (found in fruit or sugar can), lactic acid (in milk and molasses) and citric acid (in citrus fruits). stands for alpha-hydroxy acid.  This substance has exfoliating and skin-softening properties. There are different AHAs, including glycolic acid (found in fruit or sugar can), lactic acid (in milk and molasses) and citric acid (in citrus fruits).

What do they do?

AHAs work by dissolving the sticky substance between cells that stop the skin’s dead surface cells from falling off naturally. They also exfoliate the dry, damaged cells that clog pores and cause unsightly blemishes and infections.

So why would I benefit from using AHAs?

Some benefits of using AHAs are:

  • they can exfoliate dead skin cells, giving you a clearer and cleaner complexion.
  • They are great moisturisers (with 8% of either glycolic acid or lactic acid) – even better than normal moisturisers.
  • Good for using on dry areas on the body as well – so throw away your tired old loofah. You can apply this type of body scrub just before putting on your fake tan for a more even and longer lasting result.
  • Effective in reducing aging signs such as fine lines and discolouration.
  • Good for acne.

How should I use this type of product?

If you are using Retin A or hydrocortisone cream for any reason – seek out the help of a beautician or other expert before using AHA creams.

Otherwise, most skincare specialists recommend that they be used only at night time after your skin has been thoroughly cleansed.

Make-up Tips

To start off…

Always cleanse, tone and moisturise your skin as described in our section on skin care. Additionally you do need to wear a 15+ sunscreen on top of your moisturiser.   You can also buy moisturisers with sunscreen already in them.

What you will need…

Brushes –

eye shadow brushes – to shade

large make-up brush – for powder

a lip brush – to blend lip colour effectively

blusher brush – to blend colour

Concealer –

for any blemishes

for under the eyes

to hide any slips of mascara or lipstick

Lipstick pot –

to combine different colours

Eyelash curlers

to give a more dramatic effect to eyelashes or

a more natural look without mascara

Mirror – in a well lit area

Sponges – to apply make-up evenly

Foundation – this will cover any uneven skin tones and act as a base

Eye shadow – to give depth and colour to the eyes

Mascara – to give your lashes a more definite look

Lipstick – colour for the lips colour for the lips

Lipstick pencil – to define the lips and give them shape

Eyeliner – for special occasions – to define the eyes

  • Foundation First…


Make sure you put your make-up on in an area with good light.

The best way to get a great finish for your make-up is to use a good moisturiser. Use one which suits your skin type, this way it will act as a great base for your make-up.

When applying foundation, put some in your palm and use a sponge to apply it to your face for even coverage. Start in the middle of your face and blend outwards towards the edges. Always ensure that the make-up is blended over the jawline to avoid the dreaded ‘line’. Do not forget to apply your make-up to your eyelids. This will enable the eye shadow to stay on longer. The foundation should look smooth and well blended – not too thick, but with no patches either.

Always apply a translucent powder to ‘set’ the foundation.

  • Luscious Eyes…

Once your foundation is how you want it, apply your eyebrow pencil. Do not go overboard with this as it can look quite fake. But your eyebrows should be defined as this acts as a frame for your face. The colour of the eyebrow pencil should be reasonable close to the colour of your natural hair colour.

Use eyeliner if you want a more dramatic look but be very careful, as you do not want it to look like you have lines around your eyes. If you are in doubt, see a beautician at a pharmacist for some expert advice. Be sure to have understated lips if your eyes are dramatic and vice versa.

Before you use your mascara, wipe the brush on a tissue to stop it from clumping on your lashes.

Apply the mascara from the roots of the lashes to the tip. Let dry, and reapply if necessary. Don’t apply more than 2 coats as your lashes will look too thick and may clump together.

  • Cheekbones…


Apply blush under the contours of your cheekbones to get an angled or contoured look. Stick with more natural colours so that you don’t end up looking like a clown. A little of this does go a long way.

If there are any areas that need touching up (if you slipped with your mascara for example) just apply a very small amount of concealer.

Ensure that all the colours on your face match. Pinks usually do not go with reds.

  • Great Lips…

Always use a lipliner to outline the lips and stops the bleeding that can sometimes happen with certain lipsticks. Also make sure you use a sharp lip pencil so the outline looks well defined.

Choose a lipliner that matches your lipstick well. A very dark liner with a light lipstick does not look attractive. Also your nail polish should match these.

When using a lip brush, brush onto lipstick a few times and then onto the lips. Be sure to get an even coverage on the lips.

Skin Cleansing & Beauty Routine

In The Morning

You will need  –

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Face Moisturiser
  • Eye Moisturiser
  • Cotton wool balls or pads

Select a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. Remember just because skin care products are expensive, does not indicate that they are always more effective.

  1. Warm your cleanser between your hands and apply to your face and neck. Place your hands against your face and try not to scratch your face with sharp fingernails. Do not press too hard.
  2. Rinse thoroughly – ensuring all the cleanser is off. Some cleansers need to be wiped off. Do this gently.
  3. Put some toner or witch hazel onto a cotton wool ball or pad and wipe onto your cleansed skin.
  4. Once the toner has dried, apply eye cream around the eyes – making sure you avoid getting the cream in the eye itself.
  5. Apply your day moisturiser all over your face. Start at your chin and work your way upwards towards the forehead. If your skin is oily, try a product which is water based and oil free. It is always best to use a moisturiser which has a sun factor in it to protect against the harmful effects of the sun.

At Night

You will need –

  • Eye make-up remover
  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Night Moisturiser
  • Eye Cream
  1. Remove your eye makeup carefully by soaking cotton balls in an eye makeup remover and gently stroking your eyelids from the inner corner to the outer. Stroke your eyelashes gently as well, removing all makeup. Hold the skin above the lid while you do this. Use a new cotton ball for each eye.
  2. After the eye makeup is removed, use a cleanser to remove your facial make up. Follow the same instructions for the morning cleansing routine.
  3. Tone as per morning routine.
  4. Use an eye moisturiser around the eye area. Be extra careful with this area as the tissue is very delicate.
  5. Apply a night time moisturiser on your face and neck areas with sweeping upward movements.

Special Times During The Week

It is important to use special treatments on particular skin types during the week.

  • If your skin is oily, it is important to use a gentle exfoliant or scrub once per week to remove the dead skin cells and oily grime which may have built up. There are many available, so choose carefully.
  • A mask may help some people’s skin look more refreshed and helps give skin a deeper cleanse.

Skin Care Tips

It is important to get yourself into a regular skin care routine (see our Fact Sheet on daily cleansing).  Our skin is one of our best assets and should be looked after everyday.   Your skin care routine need not be a long, tedious task, but one that suits your life.  You also do not need to spend a fortune on expensive cosmetics. 

The cost of skin care preparations can be an indication of the quality of the ingredients used in them.  However, if you use cheaper products and find they give you good results – keep using them.  It comes down to what works best for you!

If your skin feels drawn and tight after cleansing, this may be an indication that the products you are using are too harsh for your skin – change to a more gentle product line.

Get advice before outlaying money for beauty products.  Be sure you are purchasing products that suit your skin type.  

 Protect your skin against the sun – use high SPF products every time you venture out into the sun.  If you find you are allergic to the chemicals used in these products, ask your Pharmacist for more natural sun protection alternatives.  Don’t forget to apply sun protection to your lips.  Your lips have less skin layers and tend to burn easier than the rest of the face.

Change your skin care routine to suit the season.  In summer you may need a less oily moisturiser and a wash off cleanser.  However, in wintertime, it may be preferable to use an oil based moisturiser and a cream cleanser as the winds and drop in temperature tends to take the moisture out of the air around you.  The moisture in your skin drops dramatically at this time.

 If you change skin care products, leave your final judgement for at least a month.  It may take this long before you see any results or not.

Cream cleansers need to be massaged into your skin and left for a minute or so to enable them to dissolve any dirt or makeup.  Then gently tissue off residue.  Do not use harsh tissues or toilet paper as this can damage the skin with repeated uses.

 Don’t be afraid to use different products from different companies.  Your main aim is to find products that suit your specific skin – these may come from several companies.

Don’t leave your make up on overnight.  This is possibly the worst skin care ‘mistake’ people make.  It takes a long time for the skin to remove the dirt and impurities naturally.  Just remember – it only takes a few minutes and your skin will thank you in the morning!

Give your skin a gentle steam clean every week.  Put some hot water in your sink and place your face over the sink covered with a towel.  The steam vapours gently cleanse and remove impurities. Be sure to protect your delicate eye area by first putting moisturiser around them.  This is also great for colds and flu.  You could add some essential oils into the water and breathe.  Please do not use this treatment if you have sensitive skin as it can aggravate the problem.  

Sometimes wrinkles around the eyes can be caused by how you sleep on your pillow.  Try to sleep on your back if possible to avoid creases under your eyes in the morning. 

Watch your diet.  See a naturopath or your health practitioner to get a suitable lifestyle diet for your age group.  Crash diets can have disastrous affects on the skin. 

If you have oily skin – don’t be tempted to use harsh products to tackle the problem.  Just stick to your skin care routine – cleanse skin thoroughly, tone and use an oil free moisturiser.  If you find your skin gets increasingly oily during the day, buy some oil absorbent sheets to dab onto the oily areas.  These sheets are readily available and also usually have a powder on them so that your make up is not disturbed when they are applied to your skin.  Also see our aromatherapy section for more tips on what you can do for this type of skin condition.

Don’t pick any pimples you may have.  This can spread infection.  

If you are prone to puffy eyes in the morning, you may also find that small lines develop as a result.  This problem can be helped by not sleeping on your stomach – sleep on your back and slightly upright (with more pillows – if this is comfortable for you).  Also cutting down on the amount of salt you consume can also help this problem.  Salt causes the kidneys to work overtime and stops them from doing their normal job of filtering fluids properly.  We then get fluid retention which can cause puffy eyes.  There are many remedies – tea bags (that were soaking in a small amount of water in the fridge overnight) applied on each of the eyes can help.  Leave them on for about 10 to 15 minutes.  There are also preparations and natural products available at pharmacies and health food shops that give very good and quick results

About Your Skin

The skin is our largest organ and protects us from the elements, shields against injury, yet allows us to move, it also helps regulate our internal temperature.

  • It’s Structure

The skin is made up of two important parts   – the outer section – known as the epidermis and an underlying part called the dermis.

The epidermis consists of several layers of cells. These cells are constantly dividing and moving up to the surface. They are made of keratin. It takes up to 3 or 4 weeks for a cell in the lower part of the epidermis to reach the top part of the skin.

The dermis is made up of bundles of protein fibres called collagen and also elastic fibres. The sweat glands, hair follicles, blood vessels and nerves are embedded in the dermis. The hairs pass through the epidermis to the surface of the skin.

  • It’s Colour

The colour of our skin is a result of the production of the black pigment called melanin. In light skinned people, there is less melanin produced. In darker skinned people, there is more of this substance made.

There are other factors contributing to the colour of skin – blood vessels and the state of the blood within these vessels.

  • Skin Types

There are different types of skin types usually categorised according to the level of oil production in the skin layers.

  • Oily skin –

Is usually the result of increased activity of the sebaceous glands, producing excess oils in the skin and clogging the pores. Excess sweating and some drugs can aggravate the problem. You could also be lacking vitamin A or zinc. This type of skin is characterised by a thick shiny coating on the visible layer of the skin. You may also have blackheads, whiteheads and acne.

Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, eggs and fish, less refined, sugary foods and fatty foods. Try not to be overly stressed.

Always wash your face regularly.

  • Dry skin –

This is the result of a lesser amount of sebum oil being produced than normal. It could indicates a deficiency in B complex vitamins and vitamin C. Eat more nuts, beans, wholegrain breads and cereals, peas, fresh fruit and vegetables. And drink plenty of filtered water every day.

It is also a great idea to apply moisturiser more often. Do not necessarily cleanse the skin excessively and avoid salt water.

Varicose Veins

These are veins that are swollen, lengthened and obvious just below the skin.

What to look for

  • prominent dark blue veins, especially in the legs and feet.

  • your legs may ache

Varicose veins are usually fairly obvious and bulge out from under your skin. They usually affect your legs. Varicose veins can be superficial or deep. Superficial veins are visible and swollen. They are painful and can affect your circulation but usually harmless.

Deep varicose veins can be the cause of blood clots and inflammation as they form deeper within the leg.


People who suffer from varicose veins are thought to have defective valves in the leg. This is a result of too much blood pressure which makes the veins swell. The swollen veins then cause the valves not to seal properly. We rely on the valves to circulate the blood to the heart properly. If they do not function properly, the blood can’t keep flowing and starts to pool in the vein causing the swollen veins that are part of this condition.

There are certain triggers that increase the likelihood of varicose veins.

  • constipation

  • pregnancy

  • obesity

  • too much standing

  • injury

Traditional Treatment

If you have a less severe case you do not need to see your doctor and can treat the condition at home. Support pantihose are usually very helpful and you should leave them on all day. They will support the veins in your legs.

Your doctor may suggest taking a pain killer for the pain of varicose veins. If you notice no signs of having this condition but still have the pain associated with it – call your doctor immediately.

There are numerous options available for this condition – ask your doctor to tell you about them.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Natural therapies can help your system cope with varicose veins and also prevent more from occurring.

Aromatherapy   –  Oil of rosemary massaged gently into an affected area may help stimulate circulation by causing capillaries to dilate. Oil of rosemary massaged gently into an affected area may help stimulate circulation by causing capillaries to dilate.

Oils of cypress (3 drops), sandalwood (3 drops) , peppermint (1 drop) and chamomile (1 drop) may soothe swelling and inflammation and help relieve pain – use a base carrier oil of calendula (5 teaspoons).

See the section on Aromatherapy for more information – certain people should not have particular essential oils.

Massage  –  Regular massage from a trained massage therapist can significantly alleviate discomfort associated with varicose veins. Regular massage from a trained massage therapist can significantly alleviate discomfort associated with varicose veins.

Herbal Therapies –  Many herbs have been beneficial in the treatment of varicose veins, and some have undergone extensive scientific study. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata), and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) are all reported to strengthen blood vessels and improve peripheral circulation. Many herbs have been beneficial in the treatment of varicose veins, and some have undergone extensive scientific study. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), hawthorn(Crataegus laevigata), and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) are all reported to strengthen blood vessels and improve peripheral circulation.

For the skin irritation linked with varicose veins, try a lotion made of distilled witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana).

To separate the build-up of protein called fibrin that makes skin near varicose veins hard and lumpy, try eating morecayenne (Capsicum frutescens), garlic (Allium sativum), onion, ginger (Zingiber officinale), and pineapple, which contains bromelain, an enzyme that promotes break up of fibrin.

Homoeopathy –  Homoeopath remedies are often used to treat varicose veins.

Pulsatilla is one remedy that is commonly prescribed.





Take up regular aerobic exercise – this is beneficial for circulation.

Take a hot bath followed by a cold bath to relieve the pain from varicose veins. You can also do the same thing with foot spas.

Yoga’ s stretching and relaxation techniques can be particularly beneficial for varicose veins.

Dietary Considerations




To rid yourself of varicose veins and to prevent them from forming, it is wise to reorganise your diet to include lots of low fat foods and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. A diet low in fat and high in fibre is best.

Drink plenty of filtered water as well. Also reduce the amount of salt, alcohol and cut out cigarettes totally. It is important to keep your weight at your ideal level as extra body fat puts strain on your legs and veins.

Vitamins B, C and E are helpful. As is magnesium, zinc, calcium fluoride, rutin and bioflavonoids, lecithin , kelp and garlic.

Go to our Vitamins Section.

Personal Care

Take some rest if your routine requires that you remain for long periods of time on your feet. Try to avoid high heels as this can also aggravate the problem.


  • Exercise regularly.

  • Eat well. Drink plenty of water. Take supplements listed above.

  • Rest often and do stretching exercises if you are on your feet a lot.

  • If you smoke, quit.

  • If you’re pregnant, sleep on your left side rather than on your back to lessen the pressure on your pelvic muscles.

When to seek further professional advice

  • the pain and swelling becomes extremely severe.

  • you have red varicose veins.

  • you cut a varicose vein – see a doctor immediately



Sunburn is the inflammation of the skin caused by excessive exposure to sunlight

What to look for

  • pink or red colour on the skin, the skin also feels tender.

  • itchy blisters.

  • pain and irritation of the eye associated with overexposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight or other sources.

Gone are the days when people go to the beach hoping to get burnt in the hope of eventually getting a great tan. These days, it is almost common knowledge that too much sunburn may equal skin cancer and premature aging.

Everyone is at risk. If you have dark skin do not think you can escape the dangerous rays of the sun.

Your reddened skin will normally heal within a few days but the damage can last a lifetime. If your sunburn is accompanied by blisters, the sunburn is quite severe and no doubt will be extremely painful. You will lose a few layers of skin through peeling.

Any sunburn will inevitably cause skin damage.


The sun has two types of ultraviolet radiation important in a discussion of damaging effects to the skin.

  • The first type, UVA radiation generally only tans skins but it is reported now that it can also take part in premature aging and wrinkling.

  • UVB rays cause sunburn and the potential for skin cancer. You can also become burnt from reflected sunlight- from sand, water, or snow.

Certain drugs can intensify the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Traditional Treatment

At-home care will alleviate many of the symptoms of sunburn, but no treatment can undo the damage caused by prolonged exposure to the sun.

Few cases of sunburn require medical care. If the burn is very painful or widespread, a doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids to relieve the discomfort. Treatment for extremely severe cases of sunburn (those involving extensive blistering, dehydration, or fever) usually requires bed rest and possibly hospitalisation. (See Burns.)

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Herbal Therapies –  Lotions, poultices, and compresses containing calendula (Calendula officinalis) will reduce inflammation. Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) may be used on exposed new skin after peeling or blistering, to help prevent infection. Lotions, poultices, and compresses containing calendula (Calendula officinalis) will reduce inflammation. Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) may be used on exposed new skin after peeling or blistering, to help prevent infection.

Preparations containing aloe (Aloe barbadensis) are excellent for relieving sunburn.

Aromatherapy  –  A gentle massage using lavender essential oil diluted in a carrier oil. See our section onAromatherapy for more details.A gentle massage using lavender essential oil diluted in a carrier oil. See our section on Aromatherapy for more details.

Homoeopathy –  Cantharis   taken orally every three to four hours for up to two days is recommended for relieving pain and helping to heal blisters. Cantharis   taken orally every three to four hours for up to two days is recommended for relieving pain and helping to heal blisters.

Personal Care

Apply cold compresses or calamine lotion to ease itchiness, take a pain killer, and have a cool bath or shower for overall relief. Drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol.

When your skin peels or the blisters break, gently remove the dried skin and apply an antiseptic ointment or cream to the skin beneath. If you feel feverish or nauseated, drink lots of fluids and see a doctor immediately.


The best way to prevent sunburn is to limit your exposure to direct sunlight, especially between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Take a look at your shadow: If it’s shorter than your height, stay under cover.

Don’t forget to ‘Slip Slop, Slap’.

Just a few sunsense tips for the whole family…


  • Get into the habit of using a sunscreen everyday.

  • Always apply your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside this will allow time for the sunscreen to dry on your skin and form an effective barrier.

  • Keep out of the sun between 10am and 3pm.

  • Re-apply sunscreen after swimming or exercise

  • Wear a hat

  • UV protective swim wear and shirts to be worn by children fro extra protection.

By practising these sunsense tips you should prevent excessive sun damage to you and your family’s skin

When to seek further professional advice

  • your sunburn blisters and is accompanied by chills, fever, or nausea. Severe sunburn requires professional care to limit the risk of infection and to prevent dehydration.

  • your eyes are extremely painful and feel gritty. You should have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist to determine whether the corneas are damaged


Ingrown Nails

Is a condition whereby the nail grows into the skin of the toe instead of over it.

What to look for

  • pain, swelling, and redness around a toenail, usually the big toe.

Ingrown nails usually affect the toenails and can be very painful.

People who have curved or thick nails are most susceptible, although anyone can suffer from ingrown nails as a result of an injury or because of shoes which do not fit properly.

Diabetics need to be aggressive in treating and preventing minor foot ailments because they can develop into serious medical problems.


Ingrown nails are most frequently caused by cutting your toenails too short or rounding the nail edges, or by wearing ill-fitting shoes that press the nail into your toe. You can also develop an ingrown nail after an injury such as stubbing your toe.

Traditional Treatment

This can be prevented by wearing shoes that fit well, and by taking proper care when you cut your toenails. Care must be taken to ensure the area does not become infected.

If this does occur, you will probably be put on a course of antibiotics and be given an ointment to help the infection.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Herbal Therapies – Medical herbalists may suggest soaking the toe in a warm solution of calendula (Calendula officinalis) and tea tree oil.

Personal Care


  • When you cut your nails, put a small ‘V’ in the middle with the scissors. This will allow the nail to grow in towards the middle and not spade out to cause trouble.

  • soaking your foot in warm salt water and then applying an over-the-counter topical solution for ingrown nails

  • Lemon is said to act as a natural softening agent. If you want to try a natural remedy, tie a fresh lemon slice around the toe and leave it on overnight.


Proper grooming is the first step in preventing ingrown nails.

Soak the feet first to soften the nails. Do not cut the nails with a downwards slope at the sides as this can cause the problem.

Call Your Doctor If:

  • the ingrown nail becomes infected