What better way to pamper yourself than to visit a nail salon or spa for a relaxing pedicure? Summer’s barefoot look calls for pretty and polished toes looking their best.
The Chicago area boasts dozens of nail salons but some may be somewhat careless in cleanliness or may not use properly sterilized equipment. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, board certified foot doctor, recommends doing a little investigating before scheduling your next visit.
A Checklist for Salon Safety
You wouldn’t visit a grocery store without first checking that the floors are clean, that food is stored properly and that food preparation areas like the deli appear sanitary. Well, as a consumer at a nail salon, you have the right to review the establishment’s cleanliness and ask questions.
First and most importantly: check that salon and technician licenses are current. Don’t be shy – all state and local licensing information must be visibly displayed.
Here are a few more tips to put you at ease when putting your feet in someone else’s hands:
- Equipment is cleanest early in the day so schedule a morning appointment.
- Glance around the room for overall cleanliness.
- Your technician’s hands and nails should be immaculate.
- Look for whirlpool foot baths without pipes as pipes tend to hide bacteria.
- Bring your own instruments if you have them and wear your own flip flops.
- A new sterile instrument pack should be used, and disposable items like buffers and toe separators should be thrown away after one use.
- Avoid shaving your legs for 24 hours before your appointment to prevent bacteria from entering your system. Reschedule if your feet or legs have any open cuts or scratches.
Common Problems after a Pedicure
Pushing the cuticle back too much or a slip of the scissors can result in infection, and cutting the toenails too rounded on the side may lead to an ingrown toenail. Here are some problems that may develop after a pedicure:
Athlete’s foot – a prescription medication works better than over-the-counter products.
Infected cuticle – pain, redness and swelling around the toenail from aggressive pushing can cause infection which needs a topical antibiotic cream.
Ingrown toenail – this can result from cutting the nail round rather than straight across. Antibiotics can stop the infection and relieve pain and, if necessary, we will remove part of the toenail.
Toenail fungus – look for toenails that are painful and discolored. We treat fungal nails with anti-fungal drugs, medicated creams or laser treatment.
Don’t Suffer from Pedicure Pain
Dr. Alexopoulos knows that there’s no reason to suffer in silence if you have any foot issues resulting from a salon visit. Call us today at 773-561-8100 or contact us through the website for an appointment in our Chicago office at your convenience. We will quickly diagnose the problem and begin treatments right away so your feet and nails will be healthy and ready for summer events.