Facts About Pedicures
PICK A TOP SALON
Do your homework to be sure your salon uses safe and clean techniques. First, see if your nail technician is licensed. Then find out what type of foot baths are used. Just know that pipes in some baths can spread bacteria, so "pipeless" foot baths can help cut this risk.
Using individual buckets or bowls is another safe option. Also be sure the salon cleans the foot baths between customers using a hospital-grade, EPA-registered disinfectant that's made for pedicure foot baths.
BE PICKY ABOUT PEDICURES
Pampering your feet is key when you have diabetes, but a bad pedicure is bad news.
Getting a pedicure can be dangerous if the salon doesn't use sanitary practices, tools are dirty, or your pedicurist is not well trained. Even if you have diabetes, you may be able to have a pedicure if you don't have complications from the disease. But if you have an infection, ulcer, or cut on your feet or legs, or if you suffer from neuropathy, nerve damage in your feet, then pedicures ae not for you.
Schedule a manicure at the salon so you can check out the facility and see how foot baths and tools are cleaned. Experts say tools should be cleaned after each use in an autoclave, a pressurized, heated chamber.
WATCH TO SEE
Watch to see if your technician opens a new pack of sterilized tools after you sit down. Also be sure the salon uses stainless steel tools, which are easier to clean than porous nail files or wooden cuticle sticks. Stay on guard.
DON'T GO BAREFOOT
Your feet need protection, even indoors. Wear slippers or shoes around the house to guard against injury. Wear socks or stockings, but nothing too tight, with shoes to prevent blisters.
REQUEST SPECIAL CARE
Let your technician know you have diabetes, and ask them to take these extra steps.
Massage your feet gently
Be sure the water is warm, not to hot
Don't clip your cuticles or file calluses, and skip the credo blade, which looks like a razor.
Cut your toenails straight across
Massage lotion completely into your feet, and don't leave any between your toes.
You can help by not shaving your legs for two days before getting a pedicure. That way, you'll avoid nicks and keep skin from being irritated, both possible entry points for bacteria.
Your toenails need trimming at least once a week, and they're easiest to work with when they're soft after a bath.