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Pedicure or Pedi-curse?

ToesA pedicure is a summer staple for most of us – nothing sets of a gorgeous pair of sandals like scrubbed, buffed feet with freshly painted toe nails! Over the last few years, the number of businesses offering pedicures and other nail services has risen, which means that pricing is now more competitive than ever. But the old saying of ‘you get what you pay for’ definitely applies here. Are you willing to risk bacterial infection, fungus, nail rot and a serious lack of hygiene to save a few dollars? Now, we don’t want to scare you and this article certainly isn’t pointing the finger at other businesses. However, we want to make sure you have all the necessary information before you trust your tootsies to someone else!

1. Pedicure or Podiatry?

A lot of clients come in for pedicures when really they should see a podiatrist. We often see clients who have a build up of dead skin, callouses etc. after years of not paying attention to their feet. In these instances, a podiatrist can have the build up removed safely and hygienically under specialist care. Following this treatment, regular pedicures will reduce the need for further treatment and maintain the health of their feet. When Therapists try to do more than what they can legally remove and deal with, it can cause the client pain, discomfort and long-term health issues. A good therapist will inform you when it is best for you to see a podiatrist – we know the podiatrists near our salons and often refer people to see them before returning to us for regular maintenance. Clients with visible nail or skin infections should always be referred to a medical practitioner before having pedicures, for their own safety and comfort, as well as the hygiene of the therapist and other clients.

2. Protection from infection

heels_2When not performed properly, with correctly sterilized equipment, pedicures carry a risk of infection, including the transfer of fungus, bacteria etc. It is possible for fungal infections to be transferred through pedicuring, especially when inserting files under the cuticle. For this reason, therapists should wear disposable gloves when performing multiple pedicures, and all instruments should be disposable or thoroughly sterilized. While immersing tools in blue liquid might look like it’s killing the bacteria, auto claving is the most effective form of sterilizing equipment, as it involves subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 °C. Industry best practice is to use individual utensils for each client, and while we understand that this is often not practical for salons that are performing a high volume of pedicures, we recommend that you specifically request brand new utensils for your own pedicure. Pedicure foot spas have been responsible for the spread of a huge number of bacterial infections. It is important that foot spas are drained, flushed with bleach and hot water and thoroughly cleaned, particularly behind inlet screens, following each use. Watch their process after the other clients and see if they do it before you before you sit down.

3. Just a trim, please..

Hangnails or ingrown can occur if nails aren’t cut properly, and these can be incredibly painful, expensive to correct and dangerous. A lot of long term toenail problems are caused by incorrect trimming – in some cases it can cause ingrown nails that become so bad, they sometimes even require surgery. Go for a square shape not round or cut off.

4. Sensitive new age…. Cuticles?

Heels Cuticle sensitivity can be caused by excessive cutting back of the skin surrounding the nail. The cuticle is the nail’s protective barrier and should not be pushed back, which can damage it and increase the risk of infection. Bleeding cuticles can be very dangerous for a number of reasons, particularly for diseases that can be transferred through the blood, eg. HIV, Hepatitis. My advice? Ask your pedicurist to keep away from the cuticle altogether!

5. Stay razor free!

We are extremely opposed to using razors to remove dead skin and callouses. It is unsafe, unhygienic and unnecessary! Pumice stones do a fantastic job and while they may take a little longer, they are much more safe for the client.

6. Hair free – not always carefree!

We recommend that you don’t shave / wax your legs the day of or the day before if your salon uses electric foot spas. Bacteria can live in pipes or water used for pedicure footbaths, and while your skin is usually a strong enough barrier to keep the bacteria out, shaving creates lots of microscopic cuts in your legs. They’re too small to see with the naked eye, but big enough to let in potentially dangerous organisms.

7. Know your polish

Make your pedicure last for up to two weeks with CND Vinylux or Shellac. Shellac polish required curing under a UV/LED lamp, but with leaves you with a shiny, fresh looking polish that lasts for up to 14 days. It’s usually around$15 extra on top of your pedicure, and has to be soaked off with acetone. CND Vinylux is brand new to Skindeep, and we LOVE it! It goes on like polish with no curing required, and lasts like gel, staying shiny, chip free and flake free for longer than polish. Best of all? It’s free with any mani/pedi!

7. Be prepared – or live with the consequences

My number one tip? Bring open toed shoes with you to your appointment… Nobody looks good in disposable flip flops!

Now, all you need to do is click here to book in your Pedicure!


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