04 Apr Dr. Vincenza Mineo Give us Pedicure Pointers for Happy Feet!
Who doesn’t love to be pampered? Especially since summer is right around the corner, a pedicure is a great way to get ready for those beach days, showing some skin and wearing sandals. Many women visit nail salons to pretty up their feet; however, some do experience complications like fungal nails, ingrown nails and possibly a bacterial infection like MRSA.
Licensed nail salons are subjected to inspection by the health department, frequency of inspection can vary along with the compliance of the nail salon. There is even an International Pedicure Association, developed by a podiatrist, which teaches the salon about pedicure safety. Many of these tips were also published by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). I hope this blog gives you some tips on how to protect yourself.
THESE SIMPLE TIPS WILL ENSURE HAPPY FEET AND YOUR SAFETY
- Schedule your appointment first thing in the morning when salon baths are the cleanest. You should also look for a salon that uses free standing basins with no inner plumbing/workings where bacteria like MRSA or other germs/debris can hide. Cleaning the footbaths takes time and involves scrubbing them down with hot soapy water, removing the filter, and cleaning with a hospital grade disinfectant.
- Bring your own tools and make sure you clean them after every use with either rubbing alcohol or hot soapy water. At the nail salon, the tools should either be autoclaved or placed in a special chemical bath. The nail technician should wash their hands between clients and lay out new tools for the next client.
- Use a toenail clipper with a straight edge when cutting nails. Nails should be cut straight across, not too short or with rounded edges. If they are not cut straight across, you are at risk for an ingrown toe nail.
- Don’t use a sharp tool under the nails or a razor on the skin to remove calluses. This makes it easy to puncture the skin, making it suspect to infection. Gently use a wooden or rubber manicure stick or even a manicure brush under your nails to keep them free from dirt and build up. Use a foot buffer or a pumice stone to gently debride calluses.
- Bring your own nail polish to the salon. Look for nail polish without formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, like Dr. Remedy. They can be irritating to the skin.
- Do not use a nail polish to cover up thick or discolored nails. This will not allow the nail bed to get necessary moisture and can make the fungus worse.
- Use nail polish to paint healthy nails and remove regularly with a non- acetone remover.
- Bring your own nail file, do not share with others, and file your nails in the same direction.
- Use a rubber cuticle pusher or manicure stick to gently push back cuticle. Consider leaving cuticles intact because cutting them puts you at risk for an infection. Also, persistently pushing them back can make them thicker.
- Use an emollient enriched moisturizer to keep you skin moist and your soles soft. Place the moisturizer on the top and bottom of both feet. Do not place between toes. Leaving moisture between toes can promote fungus or skin cracking.
- Do not shave for at least 24 hours before you go to the salon. Freshly shaven legs, small cuts or even dry skin may allow bacteria to enter.
*Remember if you do contract a fungal infection, bacterial infection or an ingrown toe nail you should see a podiatrist or other physician for care. Some signs you should look out for are redness, swelling, pain or drainage from the affected area.