5 Steps to a Safe Pedicure

Easy, expert tips to keep your feet healthy-and sexy.
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5 Steps to a Safe Pedicure

Easy, expert tips to keep your feet healthy—and sexy.

-Brittany Fenning

Pedicure

With the arrival of spring and summer, it’s time for your toes to make their seasonal debut. But although you want to make them look good as fast as possible, you’ve also got to think about how you can keep them safe and infection-free. Otherwise, you might end up with some surprise results, like a fungus or a bacterial infection.

“A pedicure is something I recommend to my patients who want to maintain both the health and look of their feet, but I warn them to proceed with caution when choosing a nail salon to frequent,” says Dr. Oliver Zong, a New York City cosmetic podiatrist.

What’s the problem? While the number of nail salons and spas are on the rise, their health regulations are not. Unlike hospitals, the cosmetics industry is not required to perform sanitary procedures such as sterilization. So, says Dr. Zong, “The biggest risk factor [in getting a pedicure] is going to be infection. Many places do not sanitize properly.”

Read Are High Heels Bad For You?

And that’ a major problem: Experts say the biggest dangers of unsafe pedicures are fungal infections like athlete’s foot, bacterial infections like staphylococcus and (most dangerous of all) viral infections including plantar warts and hepatitis B and C.

But you won’t have to steer clear of pedicures if you follow Dr. Zong’s tips and tricks:

Wait for cuts to get better. When dealing with bug bites, cuts, bruises or poison ivy on your feet or legs, skip the pedicure until you’re healed. These abrasions can let microorganisms enter the body straight from the footbath, causing infection. And try to wait on shaving your legs, getting waxed, or using a hair removal cream before getting a pedicure. This can help prevent bacteria from entering the skin.


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0 thoughts on “5 Steps to a Safe Pedicure

  1. mothermeryl says:

    Now I don’t want to go to a nail salon…

  2. dessie81 says:

    THAT is why I do this at home. A regular water basin is easily desinfcted with bleach after the whole thing is done. As for metal files and nailclippers — alchohol does the trick.

  3. jessica03 says:

    I need to start doing pedicure at home. safe and saves my money!

  4. bostongirl says:

    I have been going to the same manicurist for I would say about 6 or 7 years. I’ve never had any kind of fungal experience and you better believe wheather it’s a manicure or pedicure, I make sure they’re clean and using gloves and the pedicure tub I notice is always disinfected before they take you. So that’s good. I can and do pedicures at home as well and have saved money. It’s just in the summer when I usually splurge for a pedicure. The massage chair alone is pure heaven. The pedicures are great. Massage there as well. When your feet hurt from our lovely heels, it’s great to have a foot massage. But I agree, beware and make sure you know who you’re dealing with. I have no problems speaking up to manicurists or hairdressers and have fortunately chosen some really great ones!! You just have to get some good referrals.

  5. bostongirl says:

    I wish there was an edit area. I meant (whether). I was an English major in college and when I read misspellings I just get whew! hurry and correct it. One of my many flaws… oh well. I need a vacation. : )))

  6. a_Walker726 says:

    I think this is defiantly good information for clients to hear. Although I do think some information is miss represented. There are guildelines placed by each individual State Cosmetology Board on sanitizing of implements and footbathes. By my states law I am required to circulate sanitizer 10 min though a pedicure throne after each customer.Look for salons that offer Footsie Bathes they have a disposible liner for each customer. Sometimes there may time crunches in a salon, but if you go to a reputable place they will schedule in that time to make sure your implents and footbathes are properly disinfected.

  7. americaneon says:

    the safest pedi places are actually the ones that don’t use the expensive massage chair attached to the foot bath, but, the ones with the footbaths that can be dumped out and cleaned. something to do with the pipes and being able to clean them properly. i personally had a bad experience at the top rated salon for pedicures and my foot swelled up with a terrible infection. so, home pedis for me!!

  8. alyeska says:

    i saw a special on infections picked up at nail salons and they were horrible, took months to heal and left awful scars. i haven’t had a salon pedi since. vermont country store sells a cuticle product that is outstanding. i think it’s called “pedicure in a jar.” you just put it on at night and the next morning your toes look great.

  9. JENNIFER 75 says:

    IVE BEEN A LICENSED MANICURIST FOR 16 YEARS IN CALIFORNIA. AND I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THIS ARTICLE SAYS…HOWEVER, THE BOARD OF COSMOTOLOGY HAS ENORMOUS FINES FOR NOT SANITIZING PROPERLY, IF YOUR CAUGHT. I ALWAYS ALWAYS SANITIZE PROPERLY BECAUSE I WORK OFF OF RETURN CLIENTS NOT WALK INS. MY ADIVCE IS TO ONLY GET A PEDICURE WITH A MANICURIST WHO HAS BEEN REFERRED TO YOU. IF YOU GO TO A SALON THAT HAS 15 PEDI CHAIRS ALL IN USE AND MORE PEOPLE WAITING..THEN ODDS ARE THEY ARENT GOING TO SANITIZE THAT CHAIR PROPERLY. THE CORRECT WAY IN CALI IS TO SCRUB THE BASIN DOWN THEN FILL IT UP WITH HOT WATER AND A HOSPITAL GRADE DISINFECTANT LIKE BARBICIDE AND TURN ON THE JETS FOR 15 MINUTES. THE JETS ARE WHERE ALL THE BACTERIA CAN HIDE IF THEIR NOT TURNED ON DURING SANTITATION. ALSO THE IMPLEMENTS SHOULD BE FULLY SUBMERGED IN A HOSPITAL GRADE DISINFECTANT FOR AT LEAST 10 MINUTES. AND MOST DEFINETLY DO NOT LET ANYONE CUT YOUR CUTILCES…I AGREE GETING A PEDI CAN BE SCARY BUT ITS A WONDERFUL LUXURY EVERYONE SHOULD TREAT THEMSELVES TO, JUST NOT AT A WALK IN SLON..MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AND DONT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT EXPERIENCE OF THE MANICURIST AND HOW THEY SANITIZE. OH AND I RECOMMEND A PEDI WITHOUT THE JETS…

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