5 Ways To Make Sure A Pedicure Doesn't Turn Into A Hospital Visit

Generally, a pedicure is safe to have. Many people enjoy them and they can be quite relaxing. 

Recently there has been media releases on how a simple pedicure visit has turned into a visit from hell- with some people becoming heavily infected from just a small nick of skin

Too out there?

Well, not really. To us a small cut is a tiny cut and not really painful, but to bacteria it can be a huge canyon, easy to get in and run around. When pain, redness and swelling does occur it is usually then because the area is infected.

So how do we try our best not to get infections? Well check out this 5 point guide to help you.

1. Are The Pedicure Tools Clean?

pedicure clean

Metal tools are usually standard equipment. If they do use those then how are they cleaning them?

  • disposable/ once use- they can only be used once. One per person
  • Wooden- one per person

Usually metal tool that are reusable are cleaned first and then put into an autoclave (the picture above). These machines (which are tested regularly) are a main standard cleaning device in most countries and it is the most effective way to make sure each tool is sterile.

You do find some people putting items in a liquid. Which is OK in specific instances but...does that fluid get changed?

I have seen some people drop tools and pick them up and use them. there is no 5 second rule (actually it was tested and bugs dont wait).

Also, do they clean out the foot bath each time it is used? Also, do they ask if you have a cut or a sore before you put your foot in a footbath?

2. Are They Clean?

pedicure apron

The above picture shows protective equipment for a specific job. Now to do a pedicure you might not need all of that but maybe a plastic apron? Gloves? Mask? It depends upon the place but also the Government recommendations.

  • Do they wash their hands after each patient?
  • Do they scratch their face and then treat you?
  • Is the seat which you are on clean?
  • Is the floor clean or piled high with cotton wool?
  • Are the tools kept in a separate area and dirty tools separated?

3. Do They Know What To Do?

question pedicure

I like the picture above- I use it everywhere :) An odd title but what I am referring to is their knowledge of you and what to do if an issue occurs. Do they know these 4 issues?

  • Do they know your medical history- like are you Diabetic? Are you on blood thinning medication?
  • Do they treat that one toenail fungus first and then clip your other uninfected nails after?
  • If they cut you, which is possible (they are using metal sharp tools so it is not usually their fault) what do they do then? Leaving a cut "in the open" is not a good idea, either is using peroxide. A good dressing and advice should be given
  • Cuticles are there for a reason- a seal between nail and skin. When patients demand that it gets pushed back and cleared it can allow bugs to get under your skin and cause an infection- very common but very sore and can get worse

4. Nails

pedicure nails

If you have a look at the picture above you will see the nail growing just past the skin line- it is not cut down the side.

Cutting nails poorly is a very easy way to get an ingrown toenail. Many patients want super short nails but these are not the right type of nails. Just slightly past the skin is just right. not cutting down and not cutting straight across (you can leave a point in the corner and they catch on socks).

5. Filing

pedicure filing

Filing hard skin is very much dependent upon the type of hard skin that is present. I go into detail about files and how to use them here. Ultimately the above picture is not going to be reduced that effectively using just a file. Very mild hard skin has a better chance of being effectively treated. However, removing too much hard skin can make the area sore- it is there for a reason. So finding out the reason is better.

The metal "cheese grater" style files might seem cool and effective but they can cause damage when they get used too much on one area.

Emollients are good for drier hard skin- it can be more effectively managed.

Ultimately the idea is to have a good time right? It is always good to be aware and ask questions. I have patients ask about what I do with the tools when I have finished using them. I am proud to state what we do and the rigorous process that tools go through for each and every patient.

Idea for the article came from "Is your nail technician putting your health at risk?" Which can be found here

The medical information on the ldfootcare.com web site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.