Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Medical Pedicures


Potential Health Risks of Salon Pedicures You Should Know!

Salon Pedicure Risks in the News

Recently, CBS News reported a story about a woman who was at risk of losing her leg due to a pedicure she received at her local salon. 

While this extreme type of infection is not common, there are documented cases of severe bacterial infections as a result of non-sterile instrumentation.  Non-sterile instruments, foot soaks and even nail files can transmit bacteria and fungus from person to person... and from toe to toe.

This particular case involved a pedicurist utilizing a type of shaver to remove a callus.  In many states, it is actually illegal for pedicurists to perform any type of callus removal beyond filing the hardened/thickened area of skin.  Even nail technicians are often not permitted to utilize blades or shaving devices.  Medical assistants, working with a podiatrist, aren't allowed to either!
While some states have higher regulations than others, there are still limitations in “patrolling” salon compliance to cleanliness. 

Common Infections Caused by Salon Contamination
Our feet are highly susceptible to hosting fungus because they are “housed” in socks and shoes which create an ideal environment for fungus to thrive – dark and damp.  Once fungus is present on a single toenail, the transfer to multiple toenails is extremely probable. 
While the transmission of a limb-threatening bacterial infection as a result of a pedicure is not very common, the risk of spreading fungal matter is a far more frequent occurrence.  Improper or incomplete sterilization of previously used nail files is not uncommon at a large percentage of nail salons.
Nail salons simply do not have the standards for sterilization that one would find in a medical environment.
Benefits of Podiatric Medical Pedicures
Simply put – medical pedicures are safe.  Practices like InStride Family Foot Care utilize the medical standards that become physicians’ highest responsibility due to their training, education, and medical oath.
In addition to utilizing medical-grade instruments and sterilization techniques, single-use foot tub liners are used to decrease any chance of potential cross-contamination and infection.
For men and woman who do still want to get pedicures at a salon, there is the option of receiving an initial treatment from a podiatrist prior.  The podiatrist is not only trained in proper sterilization, but proper use of blades and shaver type instruments to minimize potential complications.

Extra precautions are especially important for those with diabetes, or anyone with compromised immune systems, due to the increased risk of infection and non-healing wounds.  The same precautions should be considered for individuals who have had a history of fungal infections.  Fungal infections are notorious for recurring.

Additionally, it is recommended that individuals do not shave the areas of the feet and legs that may be exposed to pedicure tub water or instruments.  By not shaving, you will reduce the chance of creating an open cut/wound (large or small) and reduce the chance of potential infection.

Podiatry offices like InStride Family Foot Care also provide polishes that are safer than salons.  These polishes are created with non-toxic chemicals and are infused with antifungal elements like tea tree oil.

Essentially, medical pedicures with a licensed podiatrist is the safe, sterile route for healthy looking feet!


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