You have been in your heels all day and you begin to daydream about you pedicurist. How great it would be to escape the kids, the hustle and bustle, and get your feet pampered. But it may cost you. Did you know that you may be on a pedicure away from a nasty infection or even death! No, I am not exaggerating. In Texas, a young woman was cut by a pumice stone. The open wound got infected by bacteria lurking in the whirlpool.
After 6 months of fighting off the chronic wounded, the women contracted mrsa and this nasty infection caused her death. This could never happen at your salon right? Think again. You are at risk of getting a nasty infection at almost any salon. Here are some helpful hints to keep your feet safe but still pretty.
1) Ask Critical Questions! Have you ever asked your pedicurist how they clean their tools or the foot spa. Take a look at the spa chair. Is it stainless steel? Are they cleaning the chairs in between customers? Does the spa treat customers with foot infections, nail fungus, or athlete's foot? I am guessing you never thought to ask any of these questions. I am sorry to inform you that you will not like the answers.
2) Cleaned tools are disinfected tools Most states only regulate tools to be sanitized. Although this has antibacterial properties, the only way to be sure that there are no bacteria or fungus is to disinfect the tools by an autoclave. Why you ask? When sanitizing, you are simply placing the tools into a solution. How do you know they were put into the solution for a long enough time? You do not. You have to trust that they were properly sanitized. Yes just trust there is nothing nasty growing on that nail clipper. With an autoclave, marks are used that change color when the tool was properly disinfected at a high enough temperature for an appropriate amount of time. An easy way to avoid this controversy is to invest in your own set of tools to bring with you to the pedicurist. This will ensure that your nail clipper does not have your neighbor's nail fungus tucked into the hinge.
3) Find a spa that uses stainless steel spa chairs. There have been several bacterial outbreaks that have been traced back to a spa. The cause is a mycobacterium that thrives in the plastic piping and filter of a pedicure chair. Fungus in the pipes! Gross! Many chair spas are made out of fiberglass which is very difficult to properly clean without damaging. The plastic piping is a haven due to its inability to never completely drain. This leads to cross contamination. You are basically putting your feet in water used by the customer before you, before them, before the one before and so on. The ideal pedicure chair should be stainless steel which is much easier to clean. It is also important for the chair to be pipeless to ensure you are not sharing the same water with every foot that has ever stepped in for a soaking.
4) Does your spa treat customers with foot infections, nail fungus, foot fungus? Nasty stinky, fungus growing demands! When I say nail fungus, many of us think of an old man with thick nasty looking nails. You may be unaware that nail fungus infects woman of all ages just as prominently as men. Are they at your spa? A pedicurist should not be treating infected feet due to the high risk of cross contamination. They are strongly advised to refer the customer to a podician physician before working on their feet. None of this is regulated so your spa may be pumicking bacteria and fungus and putting you at high risk!
5) Avoid fake nails and nail polish Fake nails are a haven for bacteria and fungus. What nail technicians refer to as fake nail greening is actually a pseudomonas bacteria infection. Your cuticle is your body's natural defense system against infection. During a nail “workup” they push, damage, and remove your cuticle giving bacteria an open door to your into your body! Nail polish can also trap bacteria, but more importantly, you are unable to notice changes in your nail or under your nail due to the polish over coating. Changes in your nail or nail bed are signs of infections and should be attended to immediately. If you can not resist the Hot Pink nails, try an antibacterial nail polish. Many podiatric doctors provide this in their office or on their websites. 6) Find a Podiatry Approved Nail Spa Podiatric Physicians are more than just surgeon of the foot and ankle. They are foot specialist. They can advise you with all of your foot and ankle issues.
They can even advise you on proper pedicures. Some podiatrists provide pedicures in their office! They are very well aware of the risks involved in pedicures and can recommend a spa and techniques that will secure your safety.