Going for a pedicure? Take these precautions

For ladies, summer is all about stylish sandals and freshly polished toenails. If you choose to have your polish applied at a salon, Ashley Bojrab, DPM, AACFAS, ABPM, PPG – Podiatry, has a few words of warning.

Professional pedicures can be a great option for those with an unsteady hand or those who are physically unable to paint their nails. But before you slide into that chair, consider the following steps for safety:

  • Choose the nail salon wisely. When trying a new salon, ask questions! Find out how they sanitize the instruments after usage, clean the water basins, etc. The ideal is a spa where they put plastic liners in the foot baths and replace them after each use.
     
  • Take your own nail kit. It can be difficult for salons to rid their equipment and tools of bacteria and fungus. A safer route would be to bring your own nail kit.
     
  • Avoid having the cuticles trimmed or cut. Cuticles are a barrier to prevent the bacteria and fungus from the outside environment from entering into the body. Skip this trim and ask the nail technician to forego pushing the cuticle back with the cuticle pusher.
     
  • Make sure you don’t have any open sores on the feet prior to arriving. This prevents infection. Also, avoid shaving legs 1-2 days before having a pedicure. Open wounds are a gateway for bacteria to enter the body.
     
  • Have the toenails be trimmed straight across. Do not let the nail technician trim or dig down into the corners of the toenails. This can result in ingrown toenails.
     
  • Evaluate your risk overall. Diabetic and neuropathy patients are at high risk and should avoid having pedicures. If you’re unable to trim your toenails, seek professional medical advice. 

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