What you need to know before booking your next pedicure!

Spas and foot salons have always been a popular way to relax and pamper one’s self (and one’s feet!)  However, pedicures and shared footbaths can potentially lead to unwanted toe conditions such as infections and ingrown toenails.  You can avoid potential health risks and the possibility of dealing with unnecessary problems by following a few simple safety tips.

Before booking you next pedicure, here are some precautions to keep in mind:

healthy-feet 2Are Your Feet Healthy for a Pedicure?

Check your feet for any openings in your skin before going for a pedicure.  Shaving your legs right before the pedicure can cause small nicks and cuts in your skin.  Your skin is the main barrier to bacteria and if it is compromised, your risk for infection is increased.

Avoid pedicures if you have a condition that makes it hard to fight infection and injury.  These include diabetes, HIV, or peripheral vascular disease.

Make Sure the Instruments and Foot Baths are Clean

Make certain there is no bacteria or fungus on the instruments. Be sure that they are sterilized with an autoclave, or another option is to bring your own clean instruments from home.  If the instruments are not cleaned properly in between clients, the risk of bacterial or fungal infection can increase significantly.

Footbaths need to be cleaned as well.  If not properly cleaned, fungus, bacteria, and viruses can be spread from one person to another.

Pedicures and Nail care precautions

pedicure-and-nail-care-precautionWhile pushing back cuticles and cleaning around nail borders can be desirable, the pedicurist should use caution. The cuticle is a barrier to bacterial infection and if damaged, can allow bacteria to enter into your system.

Many pedicurists may also try to remove ingrown nails, but that can actually lead to the ingrown getting worse.  It is hard to see down nail borders, and nail spikes can be left, leading to a bad infection.  Additionally, make sure the pedicurist cuts your nails straight across and not rounded into the nail borders, to reduce the risk of ingrown nails.

The Safe Way to Remove Calluses

Thick calluses on heels or other areas of the foot should be removed using a pumice stone or other foot file.  Soaking the foot in water can help soften the skin.  Avoid use of sharp instruments such as a razor on your skin as it can lead to a cut in the skin and infection.

Pedicure Gone Amiss?

You had your pedicure, followed all the advice but there’s still an issue with your feet.  You should see your foot and ankle specialist before the infection gets worse. Bacterial, fungal, and viral (warts) infections can spread quickly if not dealt with promptly!

Depending on the type of infection, antibiotics, anti-fungal, and certain procedures (wart removal, or ingrown toenail removal) may need to be done to resolve your issue.

If you have any questions on toe care or would like to consult with one of our foot and ankle specialists, we encourage you to call us at (877) 989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com

Sydney Yau, DPM, AACFAS

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