Especially in the warm months of summer, a pedicure can seem necessary to get your feet ready for sandal season. However, some practices that are routine at many salons can cause problems that will affect you long after summer is over! Unfortunately,Tracy Martinez recently experienced this after she went in for her pedicure. By the next day she was suffering major chills, nausea, and vomiting.

Two days later, she was feeling off balance, her leg was swollen, and she had no strength. Tracy was transported by ambulance to the hospital and the doctors determined she had a serious case of cellulitis caused by a strep infection in her blood stream.According to the Mayo Clinic, cellulitis is an infection caused when bacteria enters a crack or break in the skin. In this case, Tracy said her infection was caused by the scrapes on the outside of her heel from the callus cutter. Every day she wondered if she was going to lose her leg, or even her life! After two weeks in the hospital, she is still recovering. She will need medication for the rest of her life, and has to wear compression socks daily to protect the leg from another infection. Tracy shared her story to raise awareness of the dangers, and help others to learn from her experience. There are risks involved with getting a pedicure, and the costs might be more than you bargained for!

Before you start mourning the loss of your pampering pedicures, there is hope! If you choose to get a pedicure at a salon, there are precautions and things you need to do to help ensure your feet will not only look great, but stay healthy!

  • SCHEDULE YOUR PEDICURE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING- Salon foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day. If you’re not a morning person, make sure that the salon filters and cleans the foot bath between clients.
  • BRING YOUR OWN PEDICURE UTENSILS- Bacteria and fungus can move easily from one person to the next if the salon doesn’t use proper sterilization techniques.
  • CONSULT A PODIATRIST- If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, a Podiatrist will recommend a customized pedicure that both you and your salon can follow for optimal foot health.
  • DO NOT SHAVE YOUR LEGS BEFORE A PEDICURE- Freshly shaven legs or small cuts on your legs may allow bacteria to enter.
  • DO NOT USE THE SAME TOOLS FOR A PEDICURE AND A MANICURE- Bacteria and fungus can transfer between fingers and toes.
  • DO NOT ALLOW TECHNICIANS TO USE A FOOT RAZOR TO REMOVE DEAD SKIN- Using a razor can result in permanent damage if used incorrectly and can easily cause infection if too much skin is removed.
  • DO NOT SHARE NAIL FILES- Emery boards are extremely porous and can trap germs that spread. Since they can’t be sterilized, don’t share nail files with friends and be sure to bring your own to the salon, unless you are sure that the salon replaces them with each customer.
  • DO NOT PAINT THICK AND DISCOLORED TOENAILS- This could be a sign of a fungal infection, don’t apply nail polish to cover up the problem. Nail polish locks out moisture and doesn’t allow the nail bed to “breathe.” Once you fix the underlying issue, then it is safe to paint nails. If the problem persists, be sure to visit Dr. Kylin Kovac.

By following these tips, you can help your feet stay healthy all year long. If you are experiencing a problem after a pedicure, or have other foot or ankle issues that are bothering you, contact Dr. Kylin Kovac at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center!

Some content provided by You can read more about Tracy’s story at…