Need an Appointment Immediately? Call (801) 505-5277 or Click Here

Skip to main content

Check These Things Before Getting Your Nails Done at a Salon

For just about $35 (not counting tip), you can get the luxurious experience of a pedicure in spas and salons across the United States. Pedicures are a relatively inexpensive way to feel pampered and treated. And they’re a great way to get your toes looking pretty for summer’s sandals and bare feet.

Unfortunately, a pedicure in a nail salon or spa may lead to some very unwelcome (and expensive) results, too. If you’re not careful about where you get your pedicure, you could end up with a fungal infection, including toenail fungus or athlete’s foot, that can be uncomfortable and hard to clear.

At Advanced Foot & Ankle Center, our board-certified podiatrists urge you to take care before booking a pedicure at the local salon. You don’t want to follow a luxury pedicure with a medical pedicure to cure infections and wounds at our offices throughout Utah.

What should you look for before having a pedicure at a salon? Following are tips to keep your toes and feet safe.

Are the salon and workers certified?

Be sure that your salon and its workers have required the 300 hours of training required by the state of Utah to operate as a nail technician. Training covers safety basics, including:

Your nail technician must also pass two exams, one on scientific concepts and the other on nail technology procedures. Ask to see your salon workers’ licenses before booking a pedicure. Poorly cut toenails could result in a painful ingrown nail

Do they sanitize and dispose of their tools?

Any tools made of disposable materials should be thrown away after use on a single client. This includes wooden cuticle pushers, emery boards, files, and nail brushes.

Tools that are re-used must be thoroughly disinfected. They should be scrubbed with disinfectant and then allowed to soak in clean disinfectant.

Ideally, though, your salon should use an autoclave to kill microorganisms. Autoclaves kill microorganisms and their spores and are the same system used by hospitals and doctors to keep reusable tools sanitary. 

Do they disinfect foot spas?

To avoid the spread of athlete’s foot and other types of foot fungi, your nail salon must disinfect their basins after every use and nightly, too. They may take extra precautions by lining their foot soakers with plastic. The plastic must be discarded — along with the water — after every use.

If you’re not sure whether your salon actually throws away the plastic and disinfects the spas, ask to sit in the waiting room for a while. You can observe how the technicians treat their tools and whether water and liners are disposed of properly. It takes at least 10 minutes to thoroughly disinfect a foot basin between uses. 

Also ask to see the disinfectant that they use. It should be an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hospital-grade disinfectant that kills:

Don’t use that salon if you’re unsure of its practices and the type of disinfectant they use. Whether you give yourself pedicures at home or use a local nail salon, be sure that the tools are sanitized and that basic good practices are followed: Cut toenails straight, not curved. Don’t cut them too short. Always disinfect foot spas and tools.

Do you suspect you picked up a foot fungus or other problem from a nail salon? Call our team at the office nearest you or simply book your appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Daily Stretches and Exercises to Support Foot Health

You’ve switched to a whole-foods diet and get plenty of exercise. You lift weights to build the muscles that will keep your bones safe as you age. But are you building the platform that supports your body, otherwise known as your feet?

5 Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain

If you twist or roll your ankle and feel sharp pain, you may wonder if you’ve sprained it. Or maybe you strained it. Is there a difference? How can you tell if you have a sprain, and what should you do if you think you sprained your ankle?
Common Foot Problems for Runners and How to Prevent Them

Common Foot Problems for Runners and How to Prevent Them

Whether you run daily or weekly, if you’re a runner, you’re susceptible to foot injuries and foot problems. Though you can’t necessarily avoid all injuries, you can reduce your risk for them and reduce their severity by taking preventive measures.
Here's How Custom Orthotics Can Help Flat Feet

Here's How Custom Orthotics Can Help Flat Feet

Whether you were born without arches or whether they’ve fallen due to age or injury, flat feet can limit your motion and cause pain. The poor foot mechanics also lead to gait problems and other complications. Orthotics can help.

4 Uncomfortable Symptoms of Hammertoe

You don’t like the way one or more of your toes curve downward, like the heads of hammers. They make shoes difficult to fit and sandals embarrassing to wear. Over time, hammertoes can be more than an aesthetic concern; they affect foot function, too.

5 Reasons You Should See a Podiatrist

Your feet bear the weight of your entire body, day in and day out. When those weight-bearing feet are out of alignment or in pain, it can affect your entire body. Do you need a podiatrist? Following are five cases when you do.