When I traveled for a living, I had regular pedicures because I could, not because I knew why they were important. When I was laid off and could no longer afford pedicures, I really noticed a difference in my feet – and not in a good way,

After opening a Day Spa I started getting pedicures again. Not by choice, mind you. I was busy and hesitated to take the time to take care of me. However, my Nail Technicians were insistent and took great care in explaining why pedicures are important. Here is what I learned:

  1. Nail Trim – Most of us do not know how to cut and file our toe nails. A Nail Technician is trained to cut and file nails to avoid ingrown nails, which could cause great pain and possibly infection.
  2. Cuticles – Most of us do not know what to do with our cuticles, but our Nail Technicians do. If you cut them too much, they can grow back worse. Again, if you cut, you risk infection. There is a difference between cutting the cuticle and trimming what is stuck to the nails after pushing back.
  3. Polish – Your Nail Technician is trained on the correct way to apply polish. They also are very good at keeping it on your nails and off your skin. When I polish my toes, I get the polish everywhere. And using my fingers to wipe it off does not work. Either does waiting a day or two for it to wear off. Sloppy!
  4. Removing Dead Skin – Did you ever look at your feet in sandals and see dry, dead skin? Have you tried to get rid of it? Be careful. Watch out for sharp implements when removing dead skin. A good Nail Tech will not use a razor-like implement to take off the dead skin. They will use a soothing soak, pumice stones, sugar or salt scrubs, a mask, hot towels and soothing lotions to remove dead skin and nourish remaining skin.
  5. Diabetic? – You know how important it is to keep your feet healthy. At home treatments could be problematic for Diabetics. While a professional pedicure is important, make sure your spa or salon is using equipment that helps prevent infection. Look for foot spas with disposable liners without jets. While those big pedicure chairs massage you might entice you, remember that the water in the foot bath is running through pipes and jets that might not be properly maintained for cleanliness.
  6. Implements – You probably do not properly maintain your implements. But you should and so should your Nail Technician. Are you or they cleaning implements after each use? Are you or double double dipping into scrubs and masks? Are you or are using a fresh orange stick for your mani / pedi? Improper proper procedures can lead to cross contamination and infection.

As you can see, pedicures are an important part of our overall health. Want you feet to look and feel good? Leave your pedicures to the professionals.