Pampering, Pedicures….Problems!

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Pampering, Pedicures….Problems!

Many people enjoy going to the spa or nail salon for a foot massage and pedicure. It’s a wonderful way to relax and treat your tired feet. But, as a podiatrist I see the downside of this pampering treatment. Patients sometimes come in with problems picked up at the nail salon such as sharp pieces of nail cutting into the toe, improperly cut/ingrown nails, infections and even injury.

So what can you do to avoid pampering turning into problems?

First, keep an eye on the hygiene of the salon. Do they sterilize equipment between clients? Looks can be deceiving. Some “fancy” spas use foot baths that can’t be easily and thoroughly disinfected between clients. The environment may look nice, but that doesn’t always equal hygiene or expertise.

You can ask your pedicurist to avoid cutting nails or cuticles. There is less risk of cutting skin and causing an infection if they’re only filing and buffing. You can also bring your own tools. If you notice your toe is sore or red after a visit, immediately contact a podiatrist to have it checked. The podiatrist may be able to remedy the situation before it becomes a major infection.

Know the limits of a pedicurist/foot masseuse’s expertise. If you have “problem feet” or have experienced issues before, it may be best to seek a professional.

We see some foot injuries in Shanghai that seem to have roots in overzealous foot massages. Speak up if you’re feeling pain. While some discomfort often comes with kneading those sore muscles, don’t ignore pain. The feet contain nearly ¼ of the body’s bones. A well-trained masseuse knows how to relax the feet without risking injury to bones. But, you may be dealing with a masseuse with little experience.

Ingrown Toenails

Most pedicurists don’t have the proper training to deal with ingrown toenails. We commonly see patients with jagged “spikes” digging into the skin where a pedicurist tried to fix the ingrown toenail. Other times they puncture the skin when trimming ingrown nails. The client may feel more pain afterwards then relief and it can lead to infection.

Trimming ingrown nails does not have to be a painful experience. A podiatrist understands nail growth and foot mechanics to properly maintain your nail/foot health. He can also trim the nails with minimal discomfort. Chronic ingrown nails may benefit from surgical correction. This minor surgery works quite well in preventing ongoing issues.

If you’re concerned about pain or complications after a pedicure or foot massage, click to make an appointment with Scott Blake, Podiatrist/Chiropodist. Scott can also help with trimming and maintenance of ingrown toenails, minor surgical correction, and other foot pain.

Scott Blake
Scott Blake

Scott graduated from Queensland University of Technology, in Australia with honours in Health Science – Podiatry in 2011. Since graduation, his experience in private practice has provided a comprehensive understanding of diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of pathologies of the foot and lower leg.