Doing Pedicures Safely

by Emily McBride
(last updated February 15, 2016)

Most of us love getting pedicures. It is relaxing to sit in a comfortable massage chair while someone rubs down the rough edges of your feet and make your toe nails shine. However, pedicures have the danger of causing infection. You may have seen a television show that showed women who have received infections from poor sanitary conditions while getting pedicures. Many of these women have unsightly sores or permanent scars on their legs.

Unsanitary conditions can cause fungal infection, bacterial infection, and viral infection! Some common fungal infections from nail salons are yellow fungal nails and athlete's foot. A staph infection (staphylococcus) is the most common bacterial infection and requires antibiotic treatment. Viral infections such as plantar warts, and in rare cases, hepatitis B and C, can also come about from nail salons. No one wants an infection. So how can you still enjoy getting pedicures while making sure that doesn't happen?

You can be safe with your pedicures by making sure to research nail salons before you get a pedicure. Check reviews online, but most importantly, do your research in the salon. Here is a list of questions that you will want to ask the salon to ensure that you will stay free from infection:

  • Do they throwaway disposable tools (nail files, toe separates, buffers) after each usage?
  • How do they clean their tools? (Autoclaving is the safest way.)
  • Do technicians wear gloves or wash their hands in between clients?
  • Do the tubs use disposable liners?
  • Do they clean out the tubs with disinfectant in between each use?
  • Is the salon correctly licensed?
  • Does the salon appear clean? (If on the outside it doesn't appear clean, there's a good chance that it is not sterile either.)

If you are worried about how sanitary the tools are, consider taking your own pedicure kit with you. You can also purchase tub liners to take as well. Try to avoid going to get a pedicure within twenty-four hours of shaving your legs or if you have any cuts. Small cuts and raw areas are easily infected. If you suffer from medical condition that makes you more susceptible to infection (like HIV, lupus, or diabetes), let the technician know.

If you see any bumps that look like insect bites within a few days of your pedicure, go to the doctor immediately. You may have an infection, which will only get worse if you it's not taken care of.

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...

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