It is a common relaxing and stress relieving treat – sitting cozily on a pedicure chair while your feet are getting the perfect care and grooming. At times, it can even get addicting especially when your long-time favorite salon charges an affordable price for everything. But did you know that being careless in choosing a nail salon can put your health at risk?
A basic pedicure service includes having your feet soaked in lukewarm water, foot exfoliation to rub off calluses and dead skin, and nail clipping, trimming, and grooming. The first few phases pose a little threat, it’s true, but the nail routine is crucial. Having the wrong, unskilled people do the job and use the sharp tools on your nails can end you up with open wounds, something you should dread if you are suffering from diabetes.
Dr. Lee J. Sanders, chief of podiatry service at VA Medical Center in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, has been vocally stressing that people, especially those with diabetes, should decide with caution when having their feet touched and groomed. “People with diabetes are at risk for a number of complications. Foot infections are common. If they develop a break in the skin, it can be a life-threatening complication.” Dr. Sanders further strongly advised diabetic individuals not to get a pedicure as proper sanitation in salons, the cleanliness of tools used and the skills of the technicians performing the pedicure are not always guaranteed.
Nonetheless, nowadays we can still see a lot of people, even men, heading to spas and salons for it. Pedicure are beneficial in many ways provided it is done right in all aspects. Meanwhile, for another podiatrist based in Las Vegas, Dr. Jodi S. Politz, it can be okay for diabetic people to get a pedicure, “as long as the nail technician is using very clean instruments and they know what they are doing.” To make the matter less of an issue for pedicure lovers, Politz has opened a spa business that guarantees pedicure services are carried out with proper sanitation and medical supervision. “Women are going to get pedicures whether they are diabetic or not,” she envisions with hope that even people with diabetes can finally get a pedicure without having to fear for their health.
Heed the advices of the experts. Keep your feet safe by doing the following:
Know when to skip a pedicure or not. It should not worry you if you think you are healthy and free of complications. More often than not, pedicure won’t be that threatening. But if you know very well that you have been suffering from ulcer, neuropathy, or a cut that’s taking too long to heal which appears to be a sign of diabetes, or you easily got infected in the past, then stop your pedicure dreams and cancel your appointment right away. Your goal should be to not let any microbes or bacteria get into your system. To these germs, an open wound is a door to heaven that can be reached through footbaths and nail grooming. If they succeed, it can damage your nerve and threaten your life at the worst. Totally not worth it.
Choose the right salon. Being careless in choosing a nail salon is an extremely dangerous practice that needs an urgent end. More than the salon’s fancy looks and advanced facilities that can seemingly make your dream pedicure treat a reality, making sure the salon is using clean and sanitary practices is the most important factor to look for – something Dr. Sanders has also warned about. “We do not know how clean the basis is. We do not know how clean the water is. If a woman is going to seek out this service, it is important that she addresses these issued”, Dr. Sander said as he advised women to ensure that the salon and its nail technicians handling their feet bear necessary licenses and certifications.
It should raise a red flag if:
The salon does not follow proper sanitation and the staff are not confident and are rather tensed at inquires related to it.
The salon does not clean foot baths, pedicure chairs, and tools with a disinfectant after each service.
The salon does not clean with the right chemicals.
Examine the foot bath and tools. The idea of soaking your feet in warm, bubbly water sure is very soothing but remember, there are things that our bare eyes are unable to see. One of these things is bacteria that may have been lurking for a long time now in bath tanks and pipes from where the water in your footbath is sourced. How can you be sure? As much as possible, choose nail salons that use pedicure chairs with pipeless jets as these reduce the unnecessary exposure to such bacteria. Unlike a traditional pedicure chair with pipes that makes use of a network of pipes to create the rapid stream of water for a footbath, a pipe less one makes use of a bowl with a built-in water propeller creating that pipe-less jet feel that is safer and freer from dirt,
Examine the tools. You can’t gauge if the tools used for the pedicure service are sanitized. They can always claim it as you don’t have any means to judge accurately in an instant. Hence, do not be afraid to ask away. Seeing a sterilization pouch should not automatically put you at ease. It is okay to do a quick interview and ask the technicians how often these sterilizing fluids or containers are replaced or cleaned. They can serve as a deceiving mask, hence never hesitate to ask and interrogate. If the technician gets easily pissed, chances are she is tired of defending a lie. Red flag!
Although a salon does not need to justify its service quality through advanced equipment, let’s face it, the more advanced it is, the higher chances you’re spared the health risks.
Like what Dr. Sanders was pointing out, you don’t really necessarily have to get a pedicure service to have groomed feet. Proper hygiene, washing, and inspection on the feet on a daily basis will do. But if you think that is not enough and you really want your nails properly trimmed and polished, bring your own pedicure tools with you instead if that can put you more at ease.