Getting a pedicure can be a relaxing way to treat yourself and make sure your toes look their best, but if you’re not careful, you can be putting your feet at serious risk for infection. Follow these tips to make sure your feet stay healthy and that you’re getting the safest pedicure possible.
It isn’t always easy to pick up on the little clues that let you know whether your chosen salon gives a safe pedicure. Be on the lookout for the following when visiting a new salon to determine whether you’d put your feet in their hands:
Are the nail stations clean?
Do the nail technicians wash their hands after each client?
Are there dirty tools lying around?
Is your nail technician licensed and/or experienced?
If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to ask staff how they clean their pedicure tools.
Make sure pedicure tools are sterilized between each client
Always be sure that your pedicurist is using freshly sanitized metal tools on you. Pedicure tools should be soaked in a liquid disinfectant. This effectively kills most microbial life that can lead to infection. Some salons might use UV lights to sanitize tools, but these are not as effective at sterilizing.
Tell your pedicurist how to cut your toenails
Toenails should be cut straight across along the natural contour of the nail. Make sure your pedicurist doesn’t cut your toenails into rounded shapes. If you already have ingrown toenails, you are more vulnerable to infection, and should hold off on having a pedicure until after you see a podiatrist.
Don’t have a pedicure just after shaving your legs
When shaving your legs, the razor creates tiny tears in the skin, which can allow bacteria to directly enter the body. This can lead to serious infections. You should wait at least two days after shaving before having a pedicure.
Do your own pedicure if you have diabetes
Some experts recommend that people with diabetes skip spa pedicures because of the risk of complications. Diabetics may get an infection from a pedicure, which may be very slow to heal because of their diabetes.
If your doctor has said it’s ok for you to get pedicures as a diabetic, there are several ways to reduce the risk of problems, including:
- Bringing your own tools. Providing your own tools at the nail salon is the best way to ensure foot safety. A good pedicure toolkit should include:
o Nail clipper
o Nail file
o Orange stick
o Nippero Foot paddle or pumice stone
o Buffing brick
o Moisturizer or cuticle oil
o Nail polish
- Let your nail technician know if you have nerve damage in your feet due to your diabetes, and may not be able to feel scalding water or skin nicks and scrapes.
- Don’t clip cuticles. Clipping cuticles opens a door to infections. Instead of cutting them, gently push back cuticles with an orange stick
- Pay attention to pressure. An overzealous nail technician might vigorously scrape or cut hardened skin or callused feet, which can lead to sores and infection.
Caring for your feet is essential and safe pedicures are a big part of foot care. Contact our Austin podiatry office today for more answers to your questions about pedicure safety.