Everyone loves the way a professional pedicure makes your toenails look—unless that is, you end up with something extra: a fungal toenail infection. At Texas Foot Specialists, we want our patients to enjoy this treat without risk. Below are some do’s and don’ts for making sure your pedicure is performed safely:
Do: check the salon you are using for a certificate or license from the local health department or cosmetology board. This means the salon has been inspected and maintains certain standards of cleanliness. The certificate should be prominently displayed. If you don’t see it, ask for it. If the salon doesn’t have one, leave.
Don’t: forget to bring a pair of flip-flops or buy one at the salon to wear while you are there. Fungi love damp, moist places and are spread by direct contact. Keep feet covered when walking on the salon floor.
Do: observe the overall cleanliness of the salon. If the restrooms don’t appear clean, the floor isn’t swept up and magazines are in disarray, chances are the salon is short-cutting on sanitizing procedures as well.
Do: watch to see that foot baths are cleaned after each client or, better yet, that there are disposable plastic liners that are tossed after one use.
Don’t: shave your legs the morning of a professional pedicure. Shaving creates microscopic cuts in the skin that can allow harmful bacteria to enter and cause an infection.
Do: bring your own pedicure tools, such as clippers, nail file, cuticle trimmer, pumice stone, etc. If you do not bring your own, make sure that the salon is properly cleaning its tools. An autoclave machine provides the highest level of “clean” by sterilizing the tools. If a disinfectant solution is being used, tools should soak for at least 10 minutes to kill all bacteria and fungi.
How do you know if you have contracted a fungal nail infection? Your nail will usually become discolored, turning a brownish, yellowish shade. The nail will get thick and possibly crumbly at the edges. If you believe you may have a fungal toenail infection, contact our Houston (713) 664-6677, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Pasadena (281) 991-0600 office. Our foot doctors Bruce Miller, DPM and Gregory Mangum, DPM will diagnose your nail condition. We offer laser treatments to quickly and painlessly eradicate toenail fungus.