My very first month of private practice began in the middle of summer. Summer…..a time of bare feet, flip flops and open toed shoes. Many women (and let’s not forget about the foot conscious male population!) begin their summer season with a pedicure to get their feet ready for their big seasonal debut. I, myself, have even gotten a pedicure before, in preparation for vacation or a wedding or to simply de-stress. I cannot blame someone for wanting to pamper their feet. Bottom line: it makes you feel good! After a pedicure, you leave the salon with smooth and moisturized feet, free of dead skin and callus (and how about that great massage?!?!?). And not to mention the impeccable paint job on your toenails; that no matter how hard you try at home, you cannot get the same result.
Unfortunately, getting a pedicure can have a downside. I have seen many patients that attribute their painful (and sometimes infected) ingrown toenails and fungal infections (nail and skin) to a previous day they had at the salon. “They cut my nails too short.” “They dug at my cuticle with their instrument and made me bleed.” “I never had this discoloration until I got a pedicure.” “Do you think they clean their instruments?” These are all things that I have heard patients say time and time again. I used to tell patients to take their own instruments that can be purchased at any beauty supply shop, but then I thought to myself, that doesn’t solve the problem of the unsanitary whirlpool that your feet soak in right after the previous client did.
So, I have evaluated the cost and services of a salon and here are the solutions that I have come up with and now tell my patients when they ask for pedicure advice:
1) Bring your own bottle of nail polish to the salon. ($1-30 depending on the brand)
2) Most people are shocked when I tell them this but, you can ask any salon just to paint your nails. ($12 and under)
3) Pay for a separate foot massage. ($20-50 depending on long the massage is)
4) If you are dead set in having the nail technician remove dead skin and callus (which I would NEVER recommend), invest in your own instruments to take with you BUT do not soak in the whirlpool! ($12-20)
- Nail file
- Nail buffer
- Pumice stone
NOTE: The nail technician should never be using anything to cut your skin such as a blade, tissue nipper, or anything that looks like a cheese grater! These instruments are dangerous and can cut you (making you prone to infection) if not used properly.
I hope these little tips help!
If you are suffering from the effects of a bad pedicure, please feel free to make an appointment at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Center with any one of our physicians to be evaluated. We are located in Howell, NJ and our telephone number is (732) 905-1110. We look forward to helping you!
By Katy Statler