Nail Salon Safety

August 20, 2013
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Many women consider getting a pedicure an important part of their summer routine.  With the many styles of open toed sandals, it seems our feet are always on display.  For some time, we have heard about the dangers of public pedicure salons and the importance of choosing the right one wisely.  However, even with a well-rated clean salon, things can happen.  Kate Moss admitted to visiting a pedicure salon in Chinatown that caused her to get a fungal infection in her big toenail back in 2009.  American Idol judge Paula Abdul suffered a similar infection last year.  What can you do to protect yourself?  Use the following tips to help you put your best foot forward:


  1. Never let a pedicurist shave dry skin or calluses off of your feet with a razor.  This opens you up to cuts, which could transfer blood infections between customers, and can permanently damage your feet.
  2. Ask for a square shape to your nails.  When your nails are shaped oval or round, there is a greater chance of having your nails grow out into your skin.  This can cause painful ingrown toenails, with an added chance of infection.
  3. Stay away from whirlpool pedicures.  Most salons do not properly sanitize their tubs between clients; a full disinfecting takes about 10 minutes with an EPA registered hospital grade cleanser.  Only opt for the spa pedicure if the salon uses disposable plastic bins inside of the tub.  Definitely do NOT get the spa pedicure if you have any open cuts, scrapes, or bug bites, and DO NOT shave your legs for the 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  4. Stay away from the “doctor fish” pedicure.  This type of service includes real fish eating away at the dead skin cells on your feet, but has been blamed for multiple infections, amongst other things.  It is banned in several states.
  5. Don’t trim or push back the cuticle.  The cuticle is your nail’s protective layer – so leave it be!
  6. Bring your own tools including clippers and nail files.  Nail files can’t be sterilized due to their porous nature, so fungus and bacteria can hide in them!
  7. Perform your own spa ritual at home!  Soak your feet in an Epsom salt solution made of 2 cups of Epsom salt per gallon of warm water 2-3 times a week.  Scrub with a mild exfoliator such as a sugar scrub that can be found at your local drugstore, and then follow with a thick body cream.  Now you can leave the polishing up to the salon!


There are different precautions for those with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, or other major health concerns.  Many times, these medical conditions necessitate visiting a podiatrist for nail care.  To find out the safest option for you, contact Dr. Solomon at our Fort Oglethorpe, GA location for an appointment.


By: Aaron Solomon

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