When it comes to self-care and pampering, a pedicure can be a delightful treat. Not only does it leave your feet looking beautiful, but it also provides a relaxing experience. However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety during your pedicure session to avoid any unwanted risks. By following some simple pedicure pointers, you can help get your feet looking good and staying safe!

Choose a Reputable Salon or Spa for your Pedicure

The first step to ensuring a safe pedicure is selecting a reputable salon or spa. Do your research, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from friends and family. Licenses should be visible, if they are not, you can ask to see their license before going forward with your appointment. Look for establishments that prioritize hygiene, employ trained professionals, and follow proper sanitization practices.

Pedicure Hygiene Is Key:

Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment is paramount in a salon or spa. Schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning, salon foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day. Verify that the footbaths, tools, and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each customer. Ask the technicians about their hygiene practices and observe the overall cleanliness of the salon. You can even bring your own pedicure utensils to the salon to ensure your safety. Some tools such as emery boards are extremely porous and can trap germs that spread. Since emery boards can’t be sterilized, it is a good idea to bring your own to the salon unless you are sure the salon uses a new one on each customer. 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.

Gentle Nail and Cuticle Care:

During a pedicure, the technician should handle your nails and cuticles with care. Excessive cutting or trimming can lead to injuries and increase the risk of infections. Make sure they don’t round the edges of your toenails as rounding the edges can cause ingrown toenails to occur. It’s also crucial to maintain the integrity of the skin and cuticles. You should never allow a salon to cut or incessantly push back cuticles. Cutting them increases your risk of infection and pushing them back can make them thicker. Communicate your preferences and concerns to the technician to ensure a gentle and safe treatment.

Nail Polish and Products:

Choosing the right nail polish and products is essential for a safe pedicure. Stick to reputable brands that prioritize quality and safety. Low-quality products may contain harmful ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation. If you have specific concerns, consider bringing your own nail polish to the salon. 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.

Personal Hygiene for Pedicures:

Before heading to the salon, ensure that your feet are clean and free from any dirt or infections. This helps maintain a hygienic environment and reduces the risk of contamination. Don’t shave your legs before getting a pedicure. Freshly shaved legs or small cuts can allow bacteria into your body. Additionally, if you notice any signs of infection or experience any adverse reactions after the pedicure, seek medical attention promptly.

Tips for Pedicures at Home

If you prefer to pamper your feet with a pedicure at home, there are things you can do to still enjoy a safe and effective pedicure!

1. 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. If you have any cuts, sores, or infections on your feet, it’s best to avoid soaking until they have healed.

2. 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.

3. Cut your toenails straight across. Use toenail clippers with a straight edge to help avoid ingrown toenails.

4. Keep your feet moisturized. Using an emollient-enriched moisturizer can help keep your soles soft.

5. Consult a Podiatrist. If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet , Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center 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 sandal wearing summer months! By following these pedicure pointers, you can help ensure that your pedicure will leave your feet feeling good and looking great! 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 and happy all summer long! 

Some content provided by The APMA.