Your mother might have warned you about fungal infections and other horror stories from the pedicure chair. At least mine did. Being a ballet dancer, I wouldn’t set foot in a nail salon for years, not trusting anyone to treat my feet properly. I hoarded my hard-earned calluses and once even performed my own minor surgery, unsuccessfully, and vowed never again to take a sharp tool to my feet. I’ll spare you the gory details.
But for those who still enjoy indulging in a foot-pampering experience, U.S. New offers tips today for decreasing your risk of infection at the spa or considering taking your business to a podiatrist. Recommendations include avoiding razors (yes!) and skipping the popular fish pedicure. Also, beware soaking your feet:
For your part, hold off on the foot bath if you have any cuts, scrapes, scabs, bruises, or open sores on your legs or feet as broken skin eases the passage of germs into your body. The EPA and CDC also include bug bites on this list, which seems to ensure no one could ever possibly be fit for a pedicure, given the coinciding seasons of pedicures and bugs. Also, skip the pre-pedicure shave to avoid causing any nicks. The APMA [American Podiatric Medical Association] suggests scheduling your spa pedicure early in the morning, since “salon foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day.” [Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatric surgeon] advises patronizing nail salons that use disposable plastic bins inside the foot bath to lower your risk of infection.