It’s Pedicure Season!

The sun is out, the weather is warm and our feet are exposed to the masses. This time of year it is high season for the pedicure.

Whether you prefer hot pink, French or natural, most of us are getting our hobbit feet cleaned up, if they haven’t been already!

But did you bargain for that foot fungus with your new feet?

Aside from swimming pools and locker rooms, nail bars and spas are a common place to pick up foot infections. This includes bacterial and viral infections, fungi and warts (common and plantar).

How do you avoid bringing something nasty home with you on your feet? It’s pretty easy.

I’m a spa junkie, and over the years I have picked up some tips from spa professionals as well as doctors and nurses on how to protect yourself from infections at these types of places. I’ve compiled a list for you to use as a guide. Ain’t I great?

Do a visual check

Does the shop look clean and tidy? Are the bathrooms well-kept? They’re a great indicator of how well a spa maintains it’s footbaths and tools.

Inspect the foot baths/whirlpools

This is a major area of concern– footbaths are the pefect breeding ground for all sorts of nasty things. They’re warm, moist and have dark hidden places (like the drain or filter) that allow bacteria and fungi to thrive.

Check to make sure that they are well-sanitized in between uses; the technician should be using an antibacterial solution to wipe them down in between uses, and the tubs should also be rinsed thoroughly. Each night they should also be deep cleaned and disinfected.

Inspect the tools

Any tools used on your feet should be sanitized beforehand in a special sanitizing solution or in an autoclave. Autoclaves are the little boxes that look like microwaves or toaster ovens in the spa. Check to ensure that they’re actually being used. If the tools are soaked in a solution, check to make sure that the solution itself looks ok–it should not be cloudy or have bits floating about inside.

If in doubt you can always ask the spa about their process for sanitizing tools and footbaths.

Some spas will have single-use emery boards, orange sticks, etc. for each client. This is a great way to cut down on infection transmission. You can also bring in your own pedicure tools and request that the technician use those instead.

Communicate with your technician

They’re human too! A little smile goes a long way. Talk to them and don’t be afraid to speak up if something they’re doing is uncomfortable. Some techs use a small blade to scrape off excess callous from your heels. Ensure that they open a fresh blade for you and insert it in a freshly sterilized tool; or better yet, forgo getting the blade as it can cause small cuts in your skin which will increase your chances of getting an infection.

Techs should also be washing their hands inbetween clients, and/or wearing disposable gloves during your pedicure. This protects you AND them!

Additional Tips
  • Don’t shave, wax, or otherwise epilate your legs for 48 hours before getting a pedicure. These procedures can cause small cuts and tears in the skin, and when you’re soaking in the footbath and getting that leg massage, microorganisms can be introduced to those openings.
  • Same idea: if you’ve got an existing cut, bug bite or scratch on your legs or feet you shouldn’t be getting a pedicure
  • A lot of technicians will try and trim your cuticles, but this is also risky business. Littls slips of the snippers happen quite often, which can again leave you with small (and sometimes large, ugh!) cuts in your toes. Nobody wants that!
  • Your toenails should also always be cut and filed straight across–this will prevent ingrown toenails (it happens on the sides a lot!)
  • If you have diabetes, you need to be extra careful of the massages and any type of cutting tool used around your feet. Speak with the technician beforehand about your condition
  • Don’t get a pedicure if you’ve already got some sort of infection! Warts count too, ladies! You don’t want to catch anything, so why would you subject some other innocent woman to your virus? lol
  • Never allow your nails to be cleaned out with a sharp instrument that may puncture your skin. Duh.
  • Make sure your toes are completely dry before you leave, extra moisture can cause fungal growth
  • It’s always ok for you to bring your own tools, and even your own polish! Better safe than sorry!

Now, looking back it seems like there might be a lot to be worried about when you go to get your feet done. But really, it’s not that bad! Much like any situation, use your common sense. Most nail bars and spas are happy to answer any questions you have about their maintenance or procedures; and want to make your experience as enjoyable as possible!

I personally love getting my feet done and with a little common sense and the tips above I have avoided getting any kind of infection from the spas I frequent.

With that said… Get out there and beautify yourselves, ladies!!!!

One thought on “It’s Pedicure Season!”

  1. Great advice. I love pedicures & so does my husband, lol. We have been cutting back on expenses so I've just been doing my own lately. What I wouldn't give for a pedicure right now.

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