It’s that time of year, when our feet emerge from the safe, comfortable, full coverage confines of our winter boots in need of some serious beautification. Even with a pair of sandals with straps that strategically cover our “problem” toe(s) (we all have one), your previously hidden-in-(insert snow boot brand here) crusty heels will need to be “decrustified” with a good pedicure. For sistas with “big hooves”, size 10 and above, like myself, it’s even more important to keep your feet in tip-top shape.
So we asked Dr. Oliver Zong, a prominent podiatrist in New York City who has seen his share of corns, bunions, and foot issues, to give us some pedicure safety tips. He’s has seen countless patients who have developed infections in their feet as a result of spa pedicures.
Dr. Zong’s Pedi-Do’s:
* Do ask salon workers how the foot spas are maintained and how often they are cleaned. Take notice of their actions while they are working on clients to see if footbaths are disinfected with each customer.
* Do pay attention to the time spent cleaning footbaths between customers. The disinfectant needs to work for the full time listed on its label, typically 10 minutes, depending on the type of disinfectant. It is worth your health & safety to practice patience at the spa!
* Do check your skin for infection during the days following your pedicure. Open wounds may appear on the skin of your feet and legs and can look like insect bites, but increase in size and severity over time.
* Do visit your podiatrist or primary care physician if you suspect you may have a serious infection.
Dr. Zong’s Pedi-Don’ts:
* Don’t get a pedicure if you have cuts or abrasions on your feet or legs. Microorganisms living in footbaths can enter through the skin and cause infection.
* Don’t shave, wax or use hair removal creams within a day before getting a pedicure
* Don’t get a pedicure if you have bug bites, bruises, scratches, scabs or poison ivy.