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The Nail Salon Pedicure – From The Eyes Of A Podiatrist

You look down at your toenails, admiring the finished result.
Glossy and perfect. Feet feeling relaxed after a nice foot soak.
There really is nothing more satisfying than having a pedi!

That is until you remove the nail polish a few weeks later…

Is there a stripe through my nail?
Is the nail turning yellow?
It didn’t look like that before!

As a Podiatrist we see the ill effects after a nail salon session. We see the fungal toenails, the skin infections and the disappointed faces of those who just wanted to have a pamper, but ended up with a whole lot more than they bargained for.

The clear reasons why nail and skin infections occur from your shopping centre pedicure:

  • The footbath gets rinsed with water between clients. No proper cleaning, disinfecting or sterilising occurs.
  • Nail clippers, files and drill bits are not single-use. They are used again and again.
  • They push your cuticles back – this is not necessary. The cuticle is the join between the nail and the skin. Pushing the cuticle back interrupts this barrier and causes infections.
  • Nail polish is used on person to person carrying infections easily from one toenail to the next

What Is a Medical Pedicure?

A medical pedicure (also called medi pedi) is a podiatry treatment where nail care and skin care is provided. Sterile or single use instruments are used each time. This means that the instruments used on the feet are completely clean and there is no risk of contracting infections from other clients. It is safe and hygienic. 

Treatments are classified as a medical-grade pedicure when they are carried out by a university-trained therapist. Podiatrists meet these criteria and are highly skilled in all areas of foot and leg treatment. For this very reason, health insurance can be claimed for this as it is a medical treatment being provided. At Pod Fit Podiatry all health funds are accepted for an immediate rebate through the HICAPS terminal for your appointments.

What happens during a Medical Pedicure?

During a medical pedicure appointment your Podiatrist will not just provide hands on treatment, they will also assess your feet and overall health. This can include looking at why you’re getting hard skin building up, or sore ingrown toenails occurring. Apart from skin care, a podiatrist is fully trained to assess all foot and leg issues – your podiatrist may even look further into circulation or gait issues at your appointment.

It is so much more than a salon pedicure being provided, it is a thorough medical appointment and treatment. While a foot massage is not provided as such, your podiatrist can give tailored foot mobilisation or trigger point massage for specific aches and pains. Foot health is assessed each time so you can be rest assured to receive full podiatry care each and every time, not just an express cosmetic treatment. 

What is included in medical pedicures?

A medical pedicure appointment through a podiatrist includes:

  • Trimming toenails, clearing the edges
  • Thinning of toenails that are thicker using a mechanical file
  • Gently shaving away dead skin and cracked heels
  • Use of mechanical sanding disc to smooth skin
  • Application of moisturising cream 
  • Education around any findings – what can be done at home and in treatments

Find out more information on nail and skin care provided by our team at Pod Fit Podiatry here.

Any foot problem concerns can be brought up in your podiatry appointment. This may be questions about the nail or skincare, or could be completely different such as if you are experiencing foot pain, looking for permanent solutions to ingrown toenails, or wanting some further advice on footwear!

What should I do if I suspect I have an infection from a pedicure?

If you suspect that an infection has been picked up from a pedicure it is advisable to see a podiatrist as soon as possible. The earlier that conditions from cross infection are picked up the better. This is important for issues such as a fungal infection, skin infection or ingrown toenail. Unfortunately it is very easy for infections to pass from client to client when resources are not cleaned, and are used from person to person with the clippers, files and nail polish. 

Why this podiatrist says you need a medical pedicure

In ten years of consulting this podiatrist has seen unwanted nail and skin infections picked up frequently from beauty salon treatments. The hygiene standards and training are simply not there. Infection control does not exist. Cuticles get pushed back far which exposes the nail plate and often leads to infection between the nail and protective skin.

It is common to see new issues like fungal, thick or crumbly nails after a salon treatment, skin infections like tinea, and issues which were not issues before such as ingrown toenails. The risks are high and can result in long term cosmetic concerns, and lengthy, costly treatments to resolve concerns such as fungal toenail infections.

Podiatry care and treatment on the other hand is a highly regulated health industry. Podiatrists are university-trained health professionals who will provide a health-based treatment, with sterile and clean instruments and no risk of cross-infection between yourself and another client.

How does a Podiatrist differ to a pedicurist – when should I seek their help?

If you are concerned about thick, hard skin, or toenail issues a podiatrist should be your first point of call. They will advise on what you can do regarding nail polish use as well, so that you are still able to dress up your feet. This is all advised in a safe manner that will not cause infection or any issues down the track! A medipedi will leave you feet feeling great, and the added bonus is that you can claim this on private health insurance at Pod Fit Podiatry. You have a quality guarantee of keeping your healthy feet, and not picking up any unwanted nasties.

Should I Never Get A Pedicure Again?

While we are not saying that you should never get a pedicure again we would strongly advise to do your research first. There are some (although not many) salons which do provide sterilised instruments and single use nail polish for each client that comes through. These are generally not in shopping centres, and sit at a higher price bracket due to the premium service. This is well worth it in our opinion.

We would strongly recommend that you see a podiatrist first so that you know the questions to ask and what to look out for. Your podiatrist is able to provide a medical pedicure too, so you may find the need to attend a salon is not required at all. You’ll have peace of mind with podiatry care, knowing you will not be picking up infections or having treatment from an untrained therapist! Podiatrists come from a highly regulated industry with strict standards on hygiene and infection control.

Who should NOT get a pedicure?

For any of those with a compromised immune system we strongly advise against having a traditional in salon pedicure. The risk is far too high of picking up nail or skin infections. Please see a qualified podiatrist instead.

Those with the following issues should avoid salon treatments at all costs:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation
  • Nerve and sensation loss in feet
  • Vision impairments
  • Fungal and ingrown toenail infections
  • Current ulcers or wounds on the feet
  • Lymphodema
  • History of poor skin healing
  • Immunocompromised individuals

So Why Choose Podiatry?

  • Podiatrist’s use of sterile instruments only. Every clipper, file or blade is single-use
  • We provide regular nail care and tidy up the hard skin
  • You will have peace of mind that your feet will not get infected through cross-contamination
  • Your feet will feel fabulous!
Do you need your foot & ankle pain fixed fast?

Pod Fit Podiatry Adelaide are here to help! Booking online is the most convenient way to lock in the location, practitioner & time you want. We look forward to seeing you in the clinic.