Keeping Feet Healthy & Clean During Your Pedicure

It’s almost time to start showing off those toes in sandals again. Better head down to your nail salon and get a nice fresh pedicure! Pedicures can make your feet look and feel fantastic, but it’s important to remember to take certain precautions when getting a pedicure to avoid infections, fungus etc. Below are a few of my favorite tried and true tips for a healthy pedicure. After getting a horrible infection after a pedicure many years ago, I always make sure to be extra careful!

  1. Don’t let them tamper with your cuticles. Allowing them to clip or aggressively push back your cuticles can let bacteria in and invite infection.
  2. Be sure to have the nail technician cut your nails straight across or with a slight curve. Cutting too far down on the corners can cause ingrown toenails which can lead to infection.
  3. Be sure that all pedicure instruments are sanitized in an auto clave. Don’t be embarrassed to ask them to see their sanitizing machines! Be sure to watch closely, as your instruments should come directly out of the sanitizer when they are used on your feet. Otherwise, there is no way to know for sure that they were properly cleaned.
  4. Bringing your own pedicure instruments is another great way to ensure they are cleaned. I always bring my own file, buffer and pumice stone to be sure I don’t pick up bacteria from someone else. The technicians never mind and it seems to be a common practice.
  5. Don’t shave your legs the day of your pedicure! It can open your pores, cause tiny abrasions and make you more susceptible to bacteria. I always shave the day before I go. The one time I didn’t was the time I got an infection…on my leg! The follicle was irritated from shaving and then the bacteria from the nail salon infected it. It was awful and I certainly learned my lesson.
  6. Going along with the theme of tip #5, be sure not to get a pedicure if you have an open wound, scrape, bug bite or injury in the area that will be soaked. It will leave you susceptible to infection.
  7. Be sure they properly disinfect the soaking tubs after each use. I like to visit a new salon ahead of time and watch what happens when they get new clients. Do they take the instruments directly from the sanitizer AND do they properly sanitize the foot tubs after use? Don’t be afraid to ask them what they use to clean the tubs.

Some of the less desirable conditions that one can contract as a result of a pedicure gone bad include:

  1. Fungal infections: If your nail turns yellow and starts to lift from your nail bed, this is often a sign of a fungal infection. These can be treated topically or orally with medication depending on what your health care professional feels will be most effective.
  2. Plantar warts: A viral infection that may not even show up for months after the pedicure. These are transmitted anywhere your feet get wet in a common public area, including pools, showers and nail salons. These are typically treated topically by your health care provider.
  3. Bacterial Infections: If your nail bed or the skin surrounding your toenails appears red and swollen, you may have a bacterial infection. Your health care provider may need to drain the area depending on the severity of the infection, and sometimes antibiotics are prescribed.

In order to avoid these nasty and inconvenient foot infections and fungi, be sure to take the proper precautions mentioned above.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Getting Your Feet Ready For Sandal Season

Sandal season is upon us and if you are anything like the rest of us, your feet could use a little sprucing up. I always like for my feet to look fresh and healthy when I’m sporting my sandals, so I like to take some time to prep them for spring. Here are a few easy steps you can take to get your feet looking amazing for sandal season!

  1. Brighten/Whiten your toenails: Lemon juice is a great natural way to whiten and brighten your toenails. Before sandal season begins I always like to take a week with no nail polish on my toes to let them “breathe.” Then I buff them to remove the outermost layer of the nail and apply some lemon juice to whiten the nails.
  2. Deep clean/soak your feet: Soaking your feet in a basin of warm water with tea tree oil will help to kill any bacteria or fungi that may be present on your feet. Be sure to clean all the spaces on your feet with a washcloth, including the areas in between your toes.
  3. Exfoliate: Using a bristle brush, exfoliate your feet and ankles. Start at the ankle area and brush in a circular motion to the tips of your toes, working your way around the top and the bottom of the feet.
  4. Moisturize: Using a thick, creamy lotion or mask, coat the feet and let the moisturizer sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off with a warm washcloth.
  5. Trim your toenails: While toenails are damp, clip them straight across. Be careful not to cut at an angle going into the corners, as this can encourage ingrown toenails.
  6. Buff: Buff your nails with a buffer to remove the rough, top layer of your toenails and create a nice smooth surface for your nail polish.
  7. Paint: After prepping your toes and feet, it’s finally time to paint your toenails! Be sure to use a polish that is free of toxins to prevent your nails from yellowing and to avoid any unnecessary toxins.
  8. Rock your sandals with pride!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.