Hot summer weather means sandal season, and sandal season means showing off your feet—not just your toes, but also your dried out, cracking heels and callused soles. You want your feet looking their best so wearing sandals isn’t embarrassing. However, you’ve probably hear plenty of pedicure horror-stories. Salons aren’t always as clean as they need to be, and they do increase your risk for infections. It is possible to have a safe pedicure, however, if you take the right precautions.
Part of what increases your risk for infections is that many people with varying levels of foot health and cleanliness frequent nail salons. The same tools and foot baths are used for everyone, which could expose you to another person’s infection. You don’t have to swear off pedicures entirely, though. Some safe pedicure tips can help you get all the benefit of a salon while dramatically decreasing your risk for unwanted side effects:
Be Picky about Cleanliness – Visit a prospective salon and check out their cleanliness before committing to an appointment. Make sure they use hospital-grade disinfectant on their wash basins and tools, and give them plenty of time to clean completely. Go in the Morning – The later in the day, the more people will have used the foot bath and tools before you. You have a lower chance of being exposed to an infection if you go early, when everything is cleanest. Don’t Shave – Don’t shave your legs for a few days before you go. Shaving leaves little nicks in your skin that are perfect for germs to enter. Bring Your Own Tools – Just to be on the safe side, bring your own nail clippers and other pedicure tools. Clean them with alcohol before you go, and sterilize them again when you get home. Never Cut Cuticles and Avoid All Razors – Don’t let the nail techs cut your cuticles or use razors on your skin. That could easily cause damage. Instead, have them push back your cuticles gently and use a pumice stone on calluses.
Being cautious and taking extra steps to ensure a safe pedicure is always worth it. If you do develop side effects afterward that seem like an infection, don’t wait to take care of it. Let Dr. Darren Silvester and our Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic team help you keep your feet looking great. Just use our online request form, or call us directly at (830) 569-3338 for an appointment.