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The Truth About Pedicures
We all love to get a good pedicure when we can, but there are some things you should know before you make your next appointment. I ‘m very choosy about where I will get a pedicure, and that’s probably why I end up doing them myself.
At first, it was because I am a cosmetologist and I know the proper procedures for a basic pedicure.
I’d leave unhappy most of the time because I knew they were taking shortcuts or that it was completely unnecessary for my cuticles to be bleeding.
Who wants to pay $40 for a halfway pedicure and sensitive cuticles for a week? I certainly don’t, and I definitely don’t want to end up with mycobacterial skin sores on my legs!
As if that wasn’t enough to keep me away from nail salons I learned even more about public pedicure stations. They are some one the most unsanitary places in salons even though we think they are being cleaned properly. To the eyes of the general public, sure it looks clean. They spray and wipe in-between clients and that’s enough for some people. For me it’s definitely not enough…sometimes knowing too much is a good thing!
I used to work for a spa that was very strict with their sanitation procedures and now I understand why.
Spraying down a jetted pedicure tub is only the beginning of the sanitation process. Sure, nail technicians are supposed to check for infections before proceeding with a service, but do they turn every questionable client down? Probably not.
We hope they do because it’s for the health and safety of the following clients but you really never know. Some of the worst infections are invisible to the naked eye and nail techs are not thoroughly trained on all conditions.
Of course, we know a few signs but we can’t assume that every funny looking toe is an infectious disease. It’s hard to tell a client that you can’t continue with their pedicure, especially if you’re not even sure if what they have is contagious.
For the most part, the safest way to get a pedicure is at a salon or spa that uses large bowls for the pedicure rather than a jetted pedicure chair. I know, it doesn’t seem as pampering but that chair could be your worst nightmare. I’ll tell you why….
The proper way to sanitize a jetted pedicure tub takes AT LEAST 5 minutes, 10 if you want to be more than sure that it’s clean. I know you’ve all been to those little nail chop shops…it’s one client right after the other. They do a quick wipe down and immediately refill the foot bath.
Spraying the inside is necessary but it only cleans the tub walls. The tub must be refilled with hot water and a cap full or two of bleach, then the jets need to cycle the hot bleach water through the pipes for long enough to properly sanitize the entire system. Have you ever seen that before your pedicure service? Some of you may have, but not many. My spa gave us time to properly sanitize between each client and it wasn’t a 30 second deal. I’m not even going to get into proper sanitation of implements right now!
I’m sure you’re thinking no biggie, I never hear about people having issues. It happens all the time and it can be a lot worse than a little fungus.
Lets say they nip someones cuticle too close and it bleeds
(It happens more often than not!).
We all know that it will bleed a lot and it takes a while for the bleeding to subside. Now, lets say that person had a disease of the blood or a bacterial infection. Their bodily fluids have contaminated the jet system and all of the nail techs implements.
That’s pretty gross and I’m not willing to risk it. I don’t know the probability that the next person will be infected, but I’ve heard of much more bizarre things happening in this world.
Aside from worrying about bodily fluids, there are so many other things that you can pick up from getting a pedicure. I heard a story on Oprah a few years ago about a young girl that got a pedicure and now she won’t even show her legs because of what she caught from the salon. I couldn’t find the video of the episode online but hopefully everyone will want to google it after reading this!
I’m not sure exactly what she caught, but now her legs are covered in what looks like craters from a flesh eating bacteria.
Yes, it’s possible.
Just because you didn’t travel overseas doesn’t mean someone else didn’t, and pick up something. These things are real and it’s important to protect yourself. Here are a few things to look out for before your pedicure service:
- If the place doesn’t even look clean when you walk it, just leave!
- Look for porcelain foot baths, and beware of rubber soaking tubs!
- Does the nail tech was his/her hands after performing a service and before yours?
- Are jetted foot baths only being sprayed… ?!?!
- Are implements being thoroughly sanitized, or only dipped in barbicide?
- Be weary of sanitizing UV microwaves, the tools must still be properly washed and sanitized before placing them in the light sanitizing device. In my opinion, a light does not properly clean an infected implement, good old fashioned procedures are best!
- Always remember…if you have any broken skin, don’t get a pedicure until it is healed!
I hope this information makes you think more about where you go to get your next pedicure. Or maybe even do it yourself, it does save a lot of money! If you notice that a salon or spa isn’t using the proper sanitation procedures don’t be afraid to speak up! They are the ones taking shortcuts and not doing their job properly.
You are paying for a quality service and your health is much more important that being afraid to say something. I’ve been looked at like I’m being a huge you know what but I’ve also been thanked by other clients for saying something. Most people don’t have the information and you may be helping others as well as yourself!
For help on how to do your own pedicure at home you can refer to Mani’s & Pedi’s at Home!
If you’re still not convinced….check out this video!
Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger
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