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pedicureEveryone wants to have pretty feet, but can getting pedicures be a health risk?  Whether you have gotten pedicures plenty of times or if this is your first time, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Never let the nail technician turn on the bubbles while you soak your feet.  The jets in the foot bath can harbor bacteria that can lead to fungal or viral infections if the skin has been abraded or cut.  Make sure to dry the spaces in between the toes too, because bacteria can hide there as well.  You can also get infections if the station has not been properly cleaned and sanitized.  Find a salon that use pipeless foot baths or individual liners to avoid cross contamination.
  1. Make sure your nail person is using sterilized implements!  If you are not sure, ask how the salon sterilize their implements.  You have a right to ask.
  1. There are implements that should never be used for more than one client.  Any non-metal tools should be used only once and then thrown away because they cannot be sterilized.  These items include: emery boards, foot files, orange wood stick, and pumice stones.  Some clients may bring their own personal nail files and pumice stones to a session and some salons have individual kits that are pre-packaged for each session.  If you see a pedicurist using these tools on every client, this is a red flag.
  1. Watch how your pedicurist cuts your nails.  They should be cut straight across and never in the corners.  Also avoid having the cuticles cut.  Have the cuticles lubricated to soften and gently pushed back.
  1. Do not get a pedicure if you have just shaved your legs or if you have certain conditions.  Individuals with compromised immune systems (diabetics, HIV, vascular or circulation problems) should not get pedicures.  Shaving the legs can cause micro tears in the skin and bacteria can get into the skin while soaking the feet.
  1. Avoid getting pedicures on days when they offer “special deal days”.  There are likely to be many people waiting for service and sanitizing the foot bath and implements between clients may be lax than at other times.

To read more about this topic, click on the following link:

Adams, R. (2014). Huffington Post, “Thinking of getting a pedicure?  Beware the health risks first”. Retrieved March 24, 2014, from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/24/pedicure-health-risks_n_4992820.html?view=print&comm_ref=false#slide=338932