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Foot Care: The Do’s and Don’ts of Pedicures

An attempt to soothe your feet with a relaxing pedicure can often go awry if certain precautions aren’t taken before and during your visit to the nail salon, according to Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum of Delray Beach Podiatry.

If you are suffering from diabetes or poor circulation in your feet, it’s best to consult a podiatrist before heading to the salon so he or she can recommend a customized pedicure plan that you can follow for optimal foot health.

If you believe you are suffering from any foot infections or abnormalities, it’s important to remember that covering up the problem with a pedicure is never the right thing to do. A trip to the nail salon should be treated as a reward for your feet and not a means to cover up an unsightly problem. That simply won’t work, according to Dr. Goldbaum, and a trip to the podiatrist’s office should always precede a trip to the salon if your toes are in trouble.

That being said, here are a few helpful do’s and don’ts to keep in mind the next time you decide get a pedicure:

The Do’s

— It’s best to schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning as foot baths are typically cleanest earlier in the day. A cleaner bath reduces the risk of your feet acquiring any unwanted bacteria.

— It might seem strange at first, but bringing your own pedicure utensils a salon can be a good way to avoid infections. If a salon does not use proper sterilization techniques, bacteria and fungus can move easily from person to person.

— If you want to rid yourself of calluses on the heel, ball and sides of the feet, use a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub. Soak feet in warm water for at least five minutes, then use the stone, scrub, or foot file to gently smooth calluses and other rough patches. If your calluses need more than a gentle scrub, whoever, all further work should be done by a podiatrist.

— When trimming nails, use a toenail clipper with a straight edge to ensure your toenail is cut straight across. Other tools like manicure scissors or fingernail clippers increase the risk of ingrown toenails because of their small, curved shape. If you have a tendency to develop ingrown toenails, consult a podiatrist.

— To smooth nail edges, use an emery board. File lightly in one direction without using too much pressure, being sure not to scrape the nail’s surface.

— Maintain the proper moisture balance of the skin on your feet by applying emollient-enriched moisturizer to keep soles soft.

— If toenails are healthy and free of infection, you can use nail polish to paint toenails. However, it’s important to always remember to remove polish regularly using non-acetone nail polish remover.

The Don’ts

— Never shave your legs before receiving a pedicure as this can leave micro-tears in the skin for bacteria to enter.

— If you are receiving a pedicure and manicure, don’t use the same tools for both services as bacteria and fungus can transfer between fingers and toes.

— Don’t round the edges of your toenails as it increases the chances that painful ingrown toenails will develop.

— Don’t use any sharp tools to clean under nails as even the tiniest puncture wound can leave your body vulnerable to infection.

— Never leave your feet wet after a pedicure as any added moisture can lead to the development of athlete’s foot or a fungal infection.

— If you suffer from thick and discolored toenails, which could be a sign of a fungal infection, don’t apply nail polish to cover up the problem Nail polish locks in moisture, which will only serve to exacerbate the infection.

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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