It is that time year again when our feet come out from their winter shoe hiding place and are free in flip flops, sandals, and open toed shoes. You may look down at your naked toenails and think "This will not do!"
But you may be concerned about going to a nail salon to get a pedicure because of the horror stories you have heard from friends, family, and co-workers. Most people know about the dangers dirty salons can cause: fungus, cuts, and mishaps.
It is crucial therefore that you go to a salon that uses clean practices. You can assume that there is always a chance for exposure to these fungi, bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. We see the effects of a pedicure gone wrong all the time in our offices- from patients who have had toenail fungus for years, botched cuticle cutting, and various other viruses.
Don't become another victim of a foot condition from the salon. Here are some things you should look for in a good nail salon:
Get to the salon 15 minutes early. It may be a pain in the neck to arrive 15 minutes early before your appointment, but the point is to give yourself time to check out the salon, even if you have been there before. Does the salon look professional and clean? Trash bins should never be overflowing, and neither should dust be collecting on shelves.
Find licenses. Each of the nail technician's, along with the salon's license, should be posted near the entrance so everyone can see them. Don't see the licenses? Ask your technician.
How do they sanitize their tools? Tools should either be sterilized in an autoclave, a big device that sanitizes tools, or in liquid disinfectant. The solution should not be cloudy; if the solution is cloudy, it needs to be changed. Ask if they use test strips to make sure the disinfectant is working.
Look at the pedicure area. Are the footbaths being cleaned after every pedicure? After every pedicure the footbaths should be disinfected with hot, soapy water, filled with water again, along with disinfectant. The spa should run at least 10 minutes before being emptied out again and wiped down.
Check out the manicure area. Is your manicurist cleaning and disinfecting after every single client? new towels, cotton balls, disposable nail files, and wooden tools should all be replaced and thrown out.
Watch out if you are getting acrylic nails or fillings. The manicurist should wash her hands before getting started and apply an antibacterial gel or spray to yours. Every tool should be sterilized.
Avoid cuticles. Cuticles should be pushed back but not cut. Your cuticles provide protection for your nail bed, so they should be kept.
Bring your own manicure kit. Many nail salons will let you bring your own manicure kit, as well as your own polish. But- you need to make sure they are cleaned and sterilized after each visit.
Visit a med spa. Still have doubts? Visit a med spa, where a physician is on staff and oversees the environment, tools, and equipment.
If you believe you have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
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