Breathe in ... Breathe out
Time to take a break from your normal routine. How do you let loose? Going for a run? Getting a chocolate shake? Watching a bad movie that you just love? Ice cream sundae? A massage? (... can you tell I like ice cream...)
Getting a good old mani/pedi at the local salon is a great way to let someone else take care of YOU for once, while all you have to do is read up on celebrity gossip or find some new recipes to add to your pinterest board. Making sure that your little 'me' time doesn't become a headache means adhering to a few simple rules to prevent some of the complications people suffer from, including infections and toenail problems.
1. The Foot Bath: Lavendar foot salts? Yes please! Athlete's foot infection? No, thanks. Make sure the salon you choose disinfects their foot baths. I also recommend having an early appointment (maybe first of the day) since salons should be doing a thorough cleaning every night too (and let's be honest, it's more likely to be cleaned well when they aren't backed up on their appointments). Avoid the foot soak (and honestly the pedicure too at that point) if you have any open cuts or recent injuries. Soaking can increase swelling and pain in new injuries and open cuts are susceptible to infection and also irritation from chemicals/salts.
2. The Right Tools: We call these 'instruments' - basically any metal object that is intended for use on cuticles, loose skin and nail trimming. These need to be sterile! If the salon doesn't use an autoclave (a machine that sterilizes instruments under pressure), consider bringing your own tools or going to the next salon to prevent infections.
3. Be Mindful of Fads: Remember when having little fish nibble the dead skin off your feet was popular? It still is some places! If the thought doesn't creep you out at face value, consider that fish have bacteria that can (again) be a source of infection. If a new treatment sounds a little strange, take a pass and consult your local podiatrist to find out if it is safe to proceed.
4. To trim or not to trim? I usually trim my nails before I go in for a pedicure or manicure. It's then obvious that they don't need to address the length of the nails and it is less likely to end up getting them cut too short. Go for a nail shape that is not round, as this can cause ingrown nails when they grow back later. As far as cuticles go, bear in mind that they are there for a purpose! Cuticles protect the nails and tissue underneath. Having them pushed back can cause an open sore and another possible source of infection.
5. When to say no: If you are making an appointment because of painful nails, ingrowns, calluses, unsightly discolored nails or foot pain - call the podiatrist first! We are highly trained and experienced to address all of these issues and more! ... oh and we don't take tips ;-)