When you live in a beach town, pedicures are a fact of life but at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we see way too many foot conditions caused by visiting a salon that doesn’t follow proper sanitizing techniques. Fungi and bacteria love damp, public places and that’s why pedicure salons carry an above average risk for getting fungal toenails, athlete’s foot and warts. There are some ways you can protect your feet, however. See the do’s and don’ts below:
Do: choose a salon that sanitizes its tools in a blue disinfecting liquid (it’s much more effective than the UV light sanitizing machines).
Don’t: use the bubble option in the foot bath—the pipes are repositories of fungi and bacteria that will get blown into water as soon as you turn the whirlpool on.
Don’t: shave your legs right before your appointment. Even if you don’t see any visible cuts, shaving leaves micro cuts in the skin giving bacteria direct access into your leg which can result in dangerous infections such as cellulitis.
Do: make sure you let your pedicure provider know that you want your nails trimmed straight across. Nails that curve downward can more easily begin to grow into the skin around the nail creating an ingrown toenail.
Don’t: take advantage of special sale days. The salon is likely to be extra crowded and the staff may be stressed and more hurried in cleaning and sanitizing between clients.
Do: purchase your own tools if you get pedicures frequently to eliminate the chance of contamination.
Don’t: walk barefoot in the salon. Wear flip flops or other shoes that won’t smear your nails but will protect your feet from coming in direct contact with fungi and bacteria.
Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, believes that patients should be proactive about the health of their feet. With a few precautions you can enjoy a pedicure without causing harm to the skin on your feet or toenails. If you notice anything unusual on your feet after a pedicure, contact our Somers Point office by calling: (609) 927-4894.