When sandal season arrives, many people treat themselves to a pedicure to get beautiful feet they can show off. And though a pedicure can be relaxing and enjoyable, proper precautions must be taken in order to keep your feet healthy. Many nail salons can be hot spots for dangerous infections and illnesses if proper cleaning precautions are not taken.
The best thing you can do is inquire about sanitation and cleaning processes before you make your appointment. If you plan to get a pedicure, these are the basics about health and safety that you should know before you step into the salon.
Be Cautious With Medical Conditions
If you have diabetes or a foot condition, consult with your podiatrist before getting a pedicure. Often, you can still get a pedicure, but may need a modified or gentler version in order to be safe.
Foot Bath Safety
Shared pedicure equipment can lead to serious infections and cross contamination if it’s not properly sanitized. Foot baths, especially, can be germ magnets if they’re not properly maintained. You can end up with warts, athlete’s foot, or other infections. Ask the salon staff if they clean and filter the foot bath after every customer. The jets in whirlpool foot baths harbor bacteria and can’t easily be cleaned, so look for pipeless foot baths and/or the use of disposable liners used for each client.
Proper Sterilization of Tools
Any metal tools should be completely sterilized between each client. Many salons use a blue liquid disinfectant that is very effective. Autoclaves are also a great way to sanitize metal tools. If you’re extra cautious, consider bringing your own tools with you each time.
The Rule for Non-Metal Tools
Emery boards, wood and rubber manicure sticks, and any non-metal tools cannot be sterilized, so they should never be shared. Ensure they throw them away after each client. Never allow the use of a “used” non-metal tool of any kind.
The Right Way to Trim
Toenails should always be cut straight across to avoid painful ingrown nails.
Say No to Razors
Never allow a salon to use a foot razor on your feet, which can invite bacteria and fungus into your body and can damage the skin. Instead, a pumice stone can be used to gently smooth rough patches. In addition, don’t shave your legs right before your appointment, because tiny nicks and cuts could allow bacteria into your skin.
There’s no need to use sharp instruments to clean under the nails or remove cuticles. Instead, a wooden or rubber manicure stick can be used to remove debris under the nails, and cuticles can be gently pushed back with an orange stick – never cut. Your cuticles are there to protect your nails from infection, so treat them kindly!
You can have beautiful and healthy feet if you take these precautions before your next pedicure. These small steps are well worth the time to ensure you don’t pick up any unpleasant or potentially dangerous infections.
The skilled team at Family Foot and Ankle Clinic can help you keep your feet feeling great throughout your life. If you have a foot problem, contact our office today to schedule your appointment!