Be Aware of Your Pedicure during Foot Health Awareness Month!

Just because April, or “Foot Health Awareness” month is coming to an end, doesn’t mean that people should stop paying attention to their feet! With summer around the corner, I have noticed local nail salons near the Columbus Podiatry and Surgery office appear to be extra busy beautifying people’s feet.  Both men and women indulging their feet with a little pampering need to be aware of the safety of their feet during a pedicure.

While many people may know that they should pick a salon that properly sanitizes all pedicure instruments between each customer, there are additional lesser known tips recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association for a healthy and enjoyable pedicure.  While women may prefer not to have hairy legs when they know a spa employee is going to be touching them, they should try to refrain from shaving their legs before a pedicure.  Even if you do not see any cuts, shaving can create tiny tears in skin that allow for bacteria to gain access and cause infection more easily.  Also to avoid unnecessary cuts in the skin, never allow a spa to use a foot razor to remove dead skin from your bunions, heel calluses or other areas of the foot.  Along with causing an easy entry for bacteria, cutting too deep could cause permanent nerve or tissue damage.  The more commonly used method of dead skin removal at a spa by a pumice stone, foot file or exfoliating scrub after soaking the feet for a few minutes is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

If you cannot be certain that a spa properly sanitizes its equipment, a safe bet is to always bring your own pedicure set.  This ensures that bacteria and foot fungus cannot be spread to your toes from a previous pedicure.  Emery boards especially should always be brought from home as they cannot be sterilized.  If you are having a manicure and pedicure in the same appointment, make sure a different set of tools is used for each.  By using different tools for each activity, you can prevent the transfer of foot fungus or infection to your hands, and vice versa.  Another way to avoid the spread of infection at the spa is to try to book your pedicure in the morning, when foot baths are typically cleanest, or to find a spa that filters and cleans its foot baths between each client.

While these are good tips for everyone to remember when having a pedicure at a spa or at home, diabetic patients should consult a podiatrist first to ensure that their pedicure will be done in the correct manner for prevention of diabetic complications in the foot.  Patients with signs of fungal nails should also consult their podiatrist and not use nail polish until their potential fungal problem is resolved.  By staying aware during Foot Health Awareness month and all year long, people can have a pedicure experience that is both relaxing and safe for their feet!

Please visit for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia