- DONíT shave your legs before receiving a pedicure. Freshly shaven legs or small cuts on your legs may allow bacteria to enter.
- If you are receiving a pedicure and manicure, DONíT use the same tools for both services as bacteria and fungus can transfer between fingers and toes.
- DONíT allow technicians to use a foot razor to remove dead skin. Using a razor can result in permanent damage if used incorrectly and can easily cause infection if too much skin is removed.
- DONíT round the edges of your toenails. This type of shape increases the chances that painful ingrown toenails will develop.
- Emery boards are extremely porous and can trap germs that spread. Since they canít be sterilized, DONíT share nail files with friends and be sure to bring your own to the salon, unless you are sure that the salon replaces them with each customer.
- DONíT use any sharp tools to clean under nails. Using anything sharp makes it easy to puncture the skin, leaving it vulnerable to infection.
- DONíT leave any moisture between toes. Anything left behind can promote the development of athleteís foot or a fungal infection.
- Because cuticles serve as a protective barrier against bacteria, DONíT ever cut them. Cutting cuticles increases the risk of infection. Also, avoid incessantly pushing back cuticles, as doing so can make them thicker.
- If you suffer from thick and discolored toenails, which could be a sign of a fungal infection, DONíT apply nail polish to cover up the problem. Nail polish locks out moisture and doesnít allow the nail bed to ďbreathe.Ē Once you fix the underlying issue, then it is safe to paint nails. If the problem persists be sure to visit your podiatrist.
Personally, Iíve never had a professional pedicure, nor do I use polish. But I do pamper and groom my feet, as Dr. Reid suggests, and many of these tips are helpful for us do-it-yourselfers as well. And even though I cannot manage to walk in flip-flops, I appreciate these tips offered by the APMA: 10 Things to Know about Flip-Flops (with video)