6 Health hazards you need to know about before getting a pedicure
Spring is here and I bet you're dying to book your first pedi of the season, right? I hear ya! But before you do that there's a few things you might want to know first. Unfortunately, with every professional pedicure comes a ton of potential hazardous health risks, like nail fungus, infections and other nasty stuff. The safest way to go about it is of course doing your own toes at home, but if you paint your nails worse than a 3-year-old (like me for instance) here's a few ways you can avoid having a professional pedi disaster!
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Make sure the tools are sterilized: Before soaking your feet in the whirlpool bath, make sure to inspect the salon and pay attention to where the tools are being stored. Instruments should be properly sterilized in an autoclave and then placed in plastic/paper pouches. They should also be metal. Using tools that were used on another client and weren't disinfected properly can put you at risks for infections. I actually recommend bringing a small makeup bag with your own pedicure tools, including your own nail files and foot pumice (which are harder to disinfect).
Make sure the whirlpool tubs are disinfected: Your pedicurists should be disinfecting and cleaning the whirlpool foot baths before letting you soak your feet. "The jets in the whirlpool bath can harbor bacteria and fungus," Dr. Jackie Sutera, a New York-based podiatrist told the Huffington Post. I'd make sure that someone runs a sanitization cycle for 10 minutes before stepping a foot in there.
Watch out for your cuticles: Whenever I get a pedicure I always tell my pedicurists NOT to cut my cuticles because if they cut too much it can lead to an infection. Instead, I push them back myself at home using a small wood or metal stick and I keep them soft by applying cuticle oil on the regular.
Make sure they know how to cut: You can easily get an ingrown toenail if your pedicurist doesn't know what they're doing. Make sure they only cut straight along the top and not at the corners. The corners should just be filed. And bring your own nail clipper to be safe!
Don't let them shave your heels: Don't EVER let your pedicurists smooth your heels using a razor-type tool. They can easily remove too much skin, causing infections or even permanently damaging that part of your skin. Instead make sure they remove the dead skin using a pumice stone or foot file.
Don't shave your legs: Apparently it isn't safe to get a pedicure the same day you've waxed or shaved your legs. "Hair removal can cause cuts or subtle abrasions that you don't even notice on your feet," Dr. Elizabeth Kurtz, a podiatrist in Chicago and American Podiatric Medical Association spokesperson told Everydayhealth.com. Bacteria can get into these tiny cuts and openings and lead to an infection.
Image via Thinkstock
What's the worse pedicure experience you've ever had?