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Skin, Hair & Nails Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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Risks and Rewards of a Pedicure

By Vonnie Kennedy
 
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Risks and Rewards of a Pedicure 3 5 12
having a pedicure can offer risks and rewards
Creatas/Thinkstock

Treating yourself to a pedicure is a luxury you can’t afford to miss. Can we say -- pampering personified?

But, before you indulge yourself in sweet bliss, be aware of the risks before you go handing your tootsies over to a stranger.

1. Check out the tools.

Risk - Germs can linger on salon tools if they aren’t cleaned or sterilized properly. To avoid a nail infection, ask if they use a heat sterilizer for their tools or come prepackaged (even the emery board).

Reward - Don’t be afraid to request a new tool if one slips on the floor, but if you're wary about the tools in general, tote your own into the salon. Feeling comfortable is the name of the game, so relax with the assurance of clean, sterilized instruments.

2. Save the blade.

Risk - Going barefoot or wearing sandals and flip-flops can cause calluses and corns. The salon technician may suggest using a razor to cut them off, but don’t let her. You might risk an infection. If it’s that serious, see a podiatrist instead.

Reward - At a salon, the technician will soak your feet in a warm whirlpool bath for at least five minutes. Then proceed with a foot file, pumice stone, and/or exfoliating scrub to remove dead, cracked, lumpy skin leaving your feet callus-free.

3. Protect your cuticles.

Risk - Cuticles keep out germs, so advise the nail technician not to push back or cut your cuticles during a pedicure. If you notice that your cuticles are red or irritated, see your doctor.

Reward - A knowledgeable pedicurist will soften ragged cuticles by rubbing in moisturizer.

4. Don’t shave your legs.

Risk - Part of a spa pedicure includes a lower leg massage using a skin softening scrub, so don’t shave your legs before the appointment. Certain bacteria can grow in a no-so-clean footbath and can sneak into your body through tiny nicks or cuts on freshly shaved legs.

Reward - The exfoliating scrub and massage smooths and soothes tired feet and legs. It’s well worth postponing the shave until later.

5. Avoid the fish craze.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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