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Heading to a Nail Salon? Do This First to Protect Your Feet

Heading to a Nail Salon? Do This First to Protect Your Feet

A visit to the nail salon is nothing short of luxury — especially if you include the foot and calf massage! However, before you head to any nail salon, it’s important to do your due diligence and ensure your salon is reputable and hygienic. 

If not, you run the risk of exposing yourself to athlete’s foot or ingrown nails. The good news is that there are many steps you can take to protect your feet before you even head to the salon.

Here’s what you need to know, courtesy of the Momentum Foot & Ankle Clinic team.

Before you go to the nail salon

To keep your feet as healthy as possible, keep these tips in mind before your appointment.

Choose a reputable salon

Both Illinois and Indiana require nail salons to post their licenses visibly. Even better, both the state of Indiana and the state of Illinois allow you to check professional licenses. You can use this chart to ensure your salon is in good standing.

If you need help choosing a good salon, you can also read reviews of current customers. If you see any reviews that indicate hygiene isn’t immaculate, move on.

Inspect your feet

Before stepping into the salon, take a moment to inspect your feet. Look for any cuts, bruises, or signs of infection. Avoid any salon treatments if you have open wounds because this can increase your risk of infection. 

If you notice any concerns or have diabetes, talk to Aamir Mahmood, DPM, before proceeding with your salon appointment. 

Gather your own tools

To maintain hygiene and reduce the risk of infections, consider bringing your own nail tools to the salon. If you prefer not to carry your set, ensure that the salon follows strict sanitation protocols, including properly cleaning and disinfecting tools between clients.

Bring a non-toxic nail polish

Your nails aren’t hard; they’re actually porous. That means anything that you put onto your nails can penetrate into your nail bed. Formaldehyde, for example, is a common ingredient in nail polish, but it’s also listed as a potential carcinogen by the National Cancer Institute

The Environmental Working Group maintains the Skin Deep database that allows you to quickly search for all nail polishes and find the best option for you. Each result lists any potentially toxic ingredients and adds a verified badge to the non-toxic option.

With this in mind, you can prepare for your nail salon visit by choosing a nail salon that offers non-toxic and low-odor nail polishes. If your salon doesn’t offer non-toxic polish, bring your own! Non-toxic alternatives prioritize both the aesthetic appeal and the health of your nails.

Hydrate your feet 

Well-moisturized feet aren’t only aesthetically pleasing but also healthier. Before your salon visit, ensure your feet are adequately hydrated. This can help prevent dryness and cracking, which provides a smoother canvas for nail treatments.

While you’re at the salon

Once you’re at the nail salon, there are a few more strategies you can implement to keep your feet as healthy as possible.

Skip the razor 

While smooth, callus-free feet are desirable, using a razor to remove calluses or dead skin at the salon can pose risks. Razor use can lead to cuts and increase the chances of infection. Instead, opt for safer methods like gentle exfoliation or consider seeking the assistance of a podiatrist here at Momentum Foot & Ankle Clinic for professional callus removal.

Avoid cutting cuticles 

Cutting cuticles during a pedicure may seem like a standard practice, but it can expose your nail bed to infections. Instead of cutting, request gentle pushing back of the cuticles to maintain their natural barrier function. This helps protect against bacteria and fungi that could lead to nail problems.

Foot questions? We’re here for you

Before stepping into any spa (no matter how luxurious it may seem), take these steps to protect and prioritize the health of your feet. Your feet will thank you!

In the meantime, if you have any foot questions, know that we’re just a call or click away. 

To schedule an appointment, call our Michigan City, Chesterton, Indiana, or Lombard, Illinois, office and get the foot care you need.

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