Most people love getting pedicures. You get to sit on a nice massage chair while someone else pampers your feet. You get to soak your feet in nice warm water, get your nails cut, get nail polish put on (if you choose), and at times even get a foot/leg massage! You don’t ever think that getting a pedicure can lead to an infection, but it can!
Many spa’s that offer pedicures are very busy and they do not have time to sterilize their equipment. They simply wash the tools they use and the basin where you soak your feet with soap and water. Unfortunately, mild soap and water does not get rid of any bacteria or viruses that might be lingering around. If someone comes in for a pedicure and has a fungal/viral skin or nail infection, it can easily transfer to the next person if the tools being used are not sterilized appropriately.
Here are a few tips on what to look for before getting a pedicure done at a spa:
- Make sure the tools the spa is using are sterilized. They should be brought out in a sealed package. Always ask the esthetician if the tools are sterilized before starting the pedicure.
- Find a spa that does pedicures by appointment only. These spas usually sterilize their tools and wash out their basin using the appropriate cleaning agent. Spas located in malls don’t usually have time to clean their tools efficiently since they have many people walking in and waiting for an available chair.
- Make sure that the files/buffers that are being used are brand new and are given to you at the end of your treatment. Try to avoid spas where the same file/buffer is used over and over again. This can transfer bacteria/fungi/viruses from one individual to the next.
- Don’t let the esthetician use a blade on your feet. Most are not trained on how to use the blades and can easily cut you. This can lead it an infection if the cut is not treated properly.
- Do not soak your feet if you have any open cut or wounds as this can lead to an infection. The cut/wound is a portal of entry for any bacteria to get in.
If you have any health issues (e.g. diabetes), you should get your feet assessed by a foot specialist (Chiropodist/Podiatrist) instead of going to a spa. The foot specialist can check your feet properly and do the appropriate tests to make sure your feet are ok. Chiropodists/Podiatrists take infection control very seriously so all of their tools are sterilized and their working environment is usually very clean/sterile. During treatment, if any cuts should occur, they have the right tools to treat the cut in order to avoid any infections. Chiropodists/Podiatrists are trained in treating the diabetic foot so they know what to look for and how to treat the diabetic foot. They can also offer you proper diabetic foot care and footwear advice.
At Ontario Foot and Orthotics, we have two Chiropodists who are trained in diabetic foot care and wound care. We can assess your feet and give you more information on whether or not you should be going to a spa for foot care. To book an appointment, you can contact us at our Milton location (905)878-6479 or our Cambridge location (519)623-3000. We look forward to hearing from you!