Watch out For Dangerous Pedicure Pitfalls

Unless you bring your own, you have no idea what's on that foot brushToday may be national beautician’s day, but that doesn’t mean you should run out and celebrate by getting a pedicure. While some pedicures are perfectly safe, a bad one could lead to anything from an ingrown toenail for a perfectly healthy individual to a foot amputation in a high-risk person like a diabetic. To avoid these terrible consequences, listen to your Houston podiatrist and follow these pedicure dos and don’ts, courtesy of the American Podiatric Medicine Association (APMA).

Do: Bring Your Own Equipment
You may feel silly walking into a nail salon, but bringing your own equipment is really the only way to ensure that your feet won’t be contaminated by other people’s germs. In theory, salons own enough equipment to be able to thoroughly sterilize things like pumice stones in between client visits, but in practice, not all of them do, so investing in your own foot file may be annoying, but it will save you from many an infection.

Don’t: Shave Off Your Calluses
A callus is a thickened area of skin that should only be removed by a podiatrist. The most your beautician should every do is file a corn or callus a little bit, but the best idea is to leave it alone entirely.

Do: Make an early appointment
The busier a salon is, the less likely they are to properly sanitize equipment between customers. If you go early in the day during a weekday, chances are things will be calmer (and cleaner!)

Don’t : Even go near that whirpool!
The only way to properly clean a whirlpool is to drain it and scrub down the whole tub, even the drain, where sloughed-off skin can get stuck. Because it’s so time consuming, salons don’t do it, which is why so many people have picked up bacterial or fungal infections from foot baths.

Do: Skip the polish
Every part of your body needs to breathe and your toenails are no exception. The APMA suggest removing polish at least every two-to-three weeks to avoid getting dry, cracked nails.

Don’t: Cut Your Cuticles
When you take off that protective barrier around your nail, you leave yourself open to infection. Instead of taking off the cuticle, you can let your beautician soften it with cream or oil and then gently push it back.

Getting an in-salon pedicure is never completely safe,, but following these tips should go a long way to protecting your feet. If, however, you have any kind of foot pain after getting a pedicure, come and see Dr. Andrew Schneider as soon as you can. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.