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Pedicure Do’s and Don’ts

Posted Apr 01 2010 5:00am

pedicure.jpgNot to be all debbie downer, but even the cleanest-looking nail salon can actually be a hotbed of bacteria.  Back in my magazine days, a fellow editor developed a staph infection after going to one of NYC’s poshest salons–a place that was regularly written up in Vogue.  I just received the following tips from a publicist for podiatrist Dr. Oliver Zong, and wanted to pass along to you.

Dr. Zong’s Pedi-Do’s • Do ask salon workers how the foot spas are maintained and how often they are cleaned. Take notice of their actions while they are working on clients to see if footbaths are disinfected with each customer.
• Do pay attention to the time spent cleaning footbaths between customers. The disinfectant needs to work for the full time listed on its label, typically 10 minutes, depending on the type of disinfectant. It is worth your health & safety to practice patience at the spa!
• Do check your skin for infection during the days following your pedicure. Open wounds may appear on the skin of your feet and legs and can look like insect bites, but increase in size and severity over time.
• Do visit your podiatrist or primary care physician if you suspect you may have a serious infection.

Dr. Zong’s Pedi-Don’ts • Don’t get a pedicure if you have cuts or abrasions on your feet or legs. Microorganisms living in footbaths can enter through the skin and cause infection.
• Don’t shave, wax or use hair removal creams within a day before getting a pedicure
• Don’t get a pedicure if you have bug bites, bruises, scratches, scabs or poison ivy.

I have one more Do to add to the list.  Try to pick a salon that uses an autoclave, which is a medical-grade sterilization system.

My LA nail salon recommendation is Recess , which is a gorgeous green nail salon on Beverly Boulevard.  My NYC nail salon recommendation is Dashing Diva (they actually have salons in Pasadena and Tarzana, California, and internationally, as well)–just visited them in New York last week and was extremely impressed with the quality of the services, as well as the cleanliness factor.


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