From summer days at Lemont’s Centennial Pool to glimpsing animals after-hours at Brookfield Zoo’s Summer Nights, there’s plenty going on during the warm weather.
As podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, we know this is one of the more popular times of year to get mani-pedis to look good in sandals.
While a mani-pedi is relaxing, we also know it can have a downside – Dr. Diana Emini and I have seen too many patients in our Lemont office with warts, toenail fungus or other infections that were contracted from unsanitary nail salons.
Some of these issues take months to resolve – a fungal toenail takes a year to grow out after treatment.
If you’re planning to visit a nail salon this summer, keep the following tips in mind to protect yourself:
· While most nail salons follow guidelines for cleanliness and disinfection, pay attention to whether there are dirty tools or instruments around the room. Also, don’t be afraid to ask how they clean their tools. Floors and tables should be free of nail clippings and debris. Also, make sure nail clippers, cuticle pushers and other instruments are cleaned between clients with a heating system (or autoclave,) or soaked in Barbicide (blue disinfectant in glass jars), and stored in a closed container.
· Shave your legs post-pedicure. Avoid running a razor below your knees for at least 24 hours before a pedicure. Nicking yourself could put you at risk for an infection during a pedi. Also, postpone a pedicure if you have an open sore or wound, as nail dust could get in and lead to an infection.
· For those who get regular mani-pedis, buy your own nail tools to use at the salon.
· Make sure that pedicure footbaths and filters and cleaned and disinfected between uses. Improper cleaning can leave bacteria and fungus behind. Many higher-end salons have switched to pipeless technology in their pedicure baths that don’t re-circulate the water.
· Don’t wear artificial nails to cover up problems – this could make nail issues worse. Artificial nails aren’t recommended for those prone to fungal infections or those with brittle nails. For those with otherwise healthy nails, artificial nails are usually OK as long as they’re not continuously worn.
If you think you have a wart, fungus or infection from a nail salon, call our office so we can help. We offer laser treatment for fungal nails, and can offer advice on preventing the problem from happening again.
Enjoy getting your toes in the sun or sand this summer, and stay safe while getting your feet groomed!
By Michelle Kim