woman getting a pedicure in a salon

A relaxing pedicure after a long week is a popular self-care indulgence for many people, but it is important that any establishment you visit follows appropriate health and safety regulations and that you know what to do if you, unfortunately, experience an infection or injury from your pedicure.

Tips for Staying Safe During Salon Pedicures

Pedicures should serve as a comforting experience that helps you unwind, but it’s still important to be aware of potential infections that can occur. Some infections that you can contract at a nail salon include:

  • Mycobacterium fortuitum
  • Paronychia
  • HPV 
  • Colds and influenza
  • Fungal infections related to acrylic nails
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • HIV

So, what can be done to avoid the risks? Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself, including the following.

Pre-Screen Any Salon

Before making an appointment, drop by during business hours and take a look. Are the pedicurists disinfecting the foot bowls between customers? Are they bringing out new, clean instruments?

Request Tools and Techniques That Keep You Safe

Infections sometimes occur when nails are cut very close to the skin—where it’s easier to accidentally cut or nick the skin—providing an open door for infection. Ask your pedicurist to refrain from cutting your nails too short.

It is always best to avoid any instruments that are too harsh on your skin if you are concerned about infection exposure. There are other ways to exfoliate the feet, including loofas and soft brushes that the salon likely has in supply.

Check Your Feet for Injury Beforehand

Before you get to the salon, check your feet for any scrapes, cuts, or lesions that could potentially be an issue during a pedicure. If you find anything, consider rescheduling.

Enjoying a Safe Pedicure at Home

A home pedicure can be just as relaxing and can save you money while also reducing health risks. Here are some tips to keep yourself safe while pampering at home.

  • Cut your toenails straight across, leaving a small amount of white at the tips. Leaving them too long or too short will trigger ingrown toenails.
  • Soak your feet first. Your skin will be softer, making it easier to exfoliate and file calluses without injury.
  • Moisturize well and often. This can help prevent cracks and fissures that sometimes lead to infection.
  • Use clean tools. Purchase pedicure tools that are made of surgical steel, and always be sure to disinfect between each use.
  • Check out the ingredients. There are great brands of nail polish and cleansers out there that are manufactured without dangerous chemicals and toxins.

When to See a Podiatrist

Whether you indulge in a home or professional pedicure, infections still sometimes happen. It’s time to call a podiatrist if you notice:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Puss
  • Discoloration
  • Pain or discomfort

At InStride Carolina Podiatry Group, we can help patients in both North and South Carolina stay safe and resolve a variety of ailments, including infections related to pedicure injury. Call us today at 803-285-1411 or visit our website for a complete list of our office locations.

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