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Getting a Pedicure? Here Are Some Things To Know Before You Go

Getting a Pedicure? Here Are Some Things To Know Before You Go

If you think of summer as sandal season, you’re not alone. Whether you spend your free time lounging at the beach or enjoying a leisurely walk, most people want to ditch their regular shoes in favor of cooler, more breathable footwear. 

That also means they pay a lot more attention to a less visible part of their body — their feet.

It’s easy to ignore your feet, toes, and toenails when they’re hidden beneath socks and shoes most of the time. But once you reach for those sandals, you can see some glaring problems. If you think a professional pedicure can help you put your best foot forward, it’s time to hit the pause button.

Professional pedicures can indeed leave you with more beautiful-looking feet and toenails, but they can also cause problems, like fungal infections and ingrown nails

Before booking your appointment, our team at Premier Foot and Ankle Center recommends keeping these things in mind to ensure you have a safe pedicure.

The problem with pedicures

First things first — you can get a pedicure without it causing any issues. But pedicures can also pose problems, especially when it comes to fungal infections.

Fungal infections are incredibly contagious and far more common during warmer months. That’s because they thrive in warm, damp conditions, and they spread easily through infected surfaces. 

Signs of infection include:

Whenever you get your toenails filed, cut, or wet, you run the risk of bacteria or fungi getting introduced under the nail. Your chances of infection increase if you have any bruised, broken, or damaged nails, issues we often see with athletes.

Once fungus or bacteria can penetrate tissue on your toes or nails, it can easily grow out of control, causing infection to set in. 

How to avoid fungal infections during a pedicure

You might think you can spot a problem pedicure provider by looking, but it’s usually not that obvious. Instead, you should take proactive measures to research the salon for yourself.

Best practices for checking a salon’s safety standing include:

You can also bring your own pedicure tools. But even though they belong to you, you still have to clean them properly after every use. That means cleaning them thoroughly with warm, soapy water, drying them, and sterilizing them with rubbing alcohol. 

Some salons offer guests the option of buying their own tools and storing them on-site.

Protecting yourself during the pedicure

When you find a salon you trust, you can also protect yourself during your pedicure to reduce your risk of infection. For instance, ask them not to cut or push your cuticles back. This can cause a variety of problems. 

Grooming the cuticles interferes with a key barrier that protects you from infection. Plus, it can permanently damage the tissue, and it can change your natural nail shape.

Athletes, especially runners, should also take additional steps on pedicure day. You may find calluses unsightly, but they serve a purpose. Removing them can leave your skin vulnerable to blisters and sores. As you might suspect, it can even leave you more susceptible to infection. 

Whether you’re an athlete or not, you should postpone your appointment if you have blisters, sores, or any obvious injury to your feet, toes, or ankles. Similarly, skip shaving your lower legs for at least 24 hours before your pedicure to avoid any nicks or scrapes that can become entry points to infection.

Finally, ask your technician to trim your nails straight across, not rounded, to reduce your risk of ingrown toenails. And if you can’t resist the appeal of bright orange or red polish, ask them to apply a protective base coat first. This step prevents discoloration of the nail itself so you won’t miss any signs of a problem.

Do you have concerns about your foot or toenail health? Don’t wait to see an expert. Our team at Premier Foot and Ankle Center can diagnose and treat most issues at each of our offices in Worcester and Webster, Massachusetts. Just contact us by phone or online to schedule an assessment today.

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