Things You Should Never Do While Getting A Pedicure

When you think of self-care, you might think of getting a pedicure. After all, what's more relaxing and rejuvenating than having somebody scrub away the daily wear and tear from your tired, achy feet? Plus, at the end of it, you typically end up with brightly painted toenails to go along with your renewed, baby soft skin.

While pedicures typically leave you feeling pampered and refreshed, sometimes they go wrong, leading to nightmare scenarios. Instead of leaving with cute new toenails, you might find yourself with an awful bacterial, viral, or fungal infection that may take weeks to get rid of (via Cleveland Clinic). There are a few things you should never do when getting a pedicure, but you might do them without even realizing it. However, the good news is, they can be reasonably safe as long as you follow a few simple steps to help lessen your risk. 

Read on to find out the dos and don'ts of getting your toes done in a salon.

Watch out for these things at your next pedicure

If you avoid these few things at your next pedicure appointment, you can minimize your risks of leaving the nail salon with an unwanted infection. According to U.S. News & World Report, you should make sure your salon keeps clean foot baths and tools. Podiatrist Joy Rowland, DPM, told Cleveland Clinic that you should check out the salon first to ensure it follows safe practices. "Visit the place you want to go. As you're in the waiting area, watch and see what they do. Make sure they bring out new instruments for each client and clean and disinfect their bowls after each use," she advised. If they don't, you should go somewhere else.

Don't allow the technician to use a razor on your feet to help remove callouses. It not only damages your skin, causing thicker skin regrowth, but also leaves you open to cuts through which you could get an infection (via U.S. News & World Report). "Sometimes the skin gets cut during the pedicure, then you put your feet inside the bowls. The bacteria from the legs, which is the natural flora from the skin, is swirling around inside the bowl and gets inside the cut," Dr. Rowland said. "This can cause an infection inside the skin" (via Cleveland Clinic).

Here's what you can do to make your pedicure safer

While it might seem like a lot, one way you can make your pedicure safer is to bring your own tools (via U.S. News & World Report). Many nail salons use emery boards, and they are especially dangerous because they're porous and can't be sterilized. Other pedicure implements can also spread infection if they're not adequately sterilized. You can buy your own at a beauty supply store or see if your regular salon offers individual kits that they sell. Your own tools are one way to ensure that you're not getting others' germs.

If you can't bring your own tools, Cleveland Clinic suggested you ask about the salon's sterilization procedures. At a minimum, the devices should soak in a cleaning solution for 10 minutes. However, the safest method is using autoclaving, so if your salon does that, you should be safe if they use their tools. 

If you can't find a salon you feel comfortable with for a pedicure, check if your podiatrist offers one. U.S. News & World Report revealed that some offices offer a medical pedicure, which might be just right for your foot care needs. Barring that, you can do your own foot maintenance at home by soaking your feet in for 10 to 15 minutes in a solution of two cups of Epson salt to every gallon of water. Follow that with a gentle scrub and thick moisturizer.