The weather is warming up (sort of!), which means sandal season is here! Most of us have had our feet inside socks and shoes or boots all winter long. Are your feet sandal ready?! Pedicures are a a popular way for many to treat their feet and get them in tip top shape. However, pedicures in a public salon do carry some risks. By following some simple pedicure pointers, you can help get your feet looking good and staying safe whether your pedicure is in a salon or right in your very own home!
First, here are the things you SHOULD NOT do:
- Don’t shave your legs before getting a pedicure. Freshly shaved legs or small cuts can allow bacteria into your body.
- Don’t go to salons that use foot razors on dead skin. This can result in permanent damage if used incorrectly and can easily cause infection if too much skin is removed.
- Don’t apply nail polish on discolored nails. This could be a sign of infection and the nail polish locks out the moisture and prevents the nail bed from being able to “breathe”. If you think you might have a toenail infection, contact a podiatrist for an evaluation.
- Do not use the same tools for a pedicure and a manicure. Bacteria and fungus can transfer between fingers and toes.
- Do not share nail files. Emery boards are extremely porous and can trap germs that spread. Since they can’t be sterilized, bring your own to the salon unless you are sure the salon uses a new one on each customer.
- Don’t round the edges of your toenails. Rounding the edges can cause ingrown toenails to occur.
- Don’t cut or incessantly push back cuticles. Cutting them increases your risk of infection and pushing them back can make them thicker.
Next, here are the things you SHOULD do:
- Get rid of thick, dead skin on your feet by soaking them for five minutes in warm water. Follow that up with a pumice stone, foot file, or exfoliating scrub to get them nice and smooth.
- Keep your nails clean. By using a wooden or rubber manicure stick under the nails, you can clear any build-up or germs underneath the nails. Never use a sharp instrument to clean under your nails.
- Bring your own pedicure utensils to the salon. If the salon isn’t sterilizing the tools properly, bacteria and fungus can be quickly and easily spread.
- 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.
- Cut your toenails straight across. Use toenail clippers with a straight edge to help avoid ingrown toenails.
- Keep your feet moisturized. Using an emollient-enriched moisturizer can help keep your soles soft.
- Confirm the person doing your nails is a licensed professional. Licenses should be visible, if they are not, you can ask to see their license before going forward with your appointment.
- Consult a Podiatrist. If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet , a Podiatrist can recommend a customized pedicure that both you and your salon can follow for optimal foot health.
Most people want their feet to look good, especially during the summer months. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your pedicure will leave your feet pretty instead of causing them problems!
If you have any questions or concerns about your foot health, contact Dr. Kylin Kovac or Dr. Jed Erickson at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center. They provide exceptional foot care for the whole family and want to help your feet stay healthy all summer long!
Some content provided by The APMA.