The APMA put out a great list of important Dos and Don’ts when it comes to pedicures – we’ve highlighted some we thought were most important. You can also check out the poster released by APMA by clicking here.
Here’s what you should DO when consider a pedicure:
- If you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, consult a podiatrist so he or she can recommend a customized pedicure that both you and your salon can follow for optimal foot health.
- Schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning. Salon foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day. If you’re not a morning person, make sure that the salon filters and cleans the foot bath between clients.
- Bring your own pedicure utensils to the salon. Bacteria and fungus can move easily from one person to the next if the salon doesn’t use proper sterilization techniques.
- When eliminating thick, dead skin build-up, also known as calluses, on the heel, ball and sides of the feet, use a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub. Soak feet in warm water for at least five minutes, then use the stone, scrub, or foot file to gently smooth calluses and other rough patches.
- When trimming nails, use a toenail clipper with a straight edge to ensure your toenail is cut straight across. Other tools like manicure scissors or fingernail clippers increase the risk of ingrown toenails because of their small, curved shape. See a podiatrist if you have a tendency to develop ingrown toenails.
And here’s what you DON’T DO when consider a pedicure:
- Resist the urge to shave your legs before receiving a pedicure. Freshly shaven legs or small cuts on your legs may allow bacteria to enter.
- If you are receiving a pedicure and manicure, don’t use the same tools for both services as bacteria and fungus can transfer between fingers and toes.
- Although certain salons offer this technique, don’t allow technicians to use a foot razor to remove dead skin. Using a razor can result in permanent damage if used incorrectly and caneasily cause infection if too much skin is removed.
- Don’t round the edges of your toenails. This type of shape increases the chances that painful ingrown toenails will develop.
- Emery boards are extremely porous and can trap germs that spread. Since they can’t be sterilized, don’t share nail files with friends and be sure to bring your own to the salon, unless you are sure that the salon replaces them with each customer.
- Don’t use any sharp tools to clean under nails. Using anything sharp makes it easy to puncture the skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection.
- Be sure that you don’t leave any moisture between toes. Anything left behind can promote the development of athlete’s foot or a fungal infection.