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Foot Orthotics Seattle

Price of Pedicure May Include Viral Infections


CHICAGO, April 12 /PRNewswire/

Carry your own nail tools to your pedicures to prevent infection

Salons and spas featuring nail services are rapidly growing into a billion dollar industry. Because the cosmetics industry is not required to adhere to the same sterilization regulations for the tools they use as medical offices and hospitals, physicians are seeing an increase in several transmissible diseases.

"Unfortunately, many cosmetologists remain uneducated about the dangers of spreading disease and may unknowingly be jeopardizing the health of their clients," said Dr. Carolyn L. Siegal, attending physician at Cedars-Sinai.

During a pedicure small breaks in the skin can occur. When nail tools such as cuticle pushers or nippers are used on these breaks, or on paper cuts and other open areas in the skin, they can transfer blood and/or bacteria from one customer to another, if the tools are not properly sterilized between appointments.

"The medical community, as a whole, is treating more and more patients for skin, nail and viral infections as a direct result of manicure and pedicure services," said Dr. Siegal. "However, there are steps that can be taken to prevent an uncomfortable and potentially painful experience during and after a pedicure."

The following health risks are associated with nail salons.......

  • Fungal infections such as athlete's foot and yellow fungal nails.
  • Bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus and other organisms mandating oral antibiotic treatment.
  • Viral infections including plantar warts and even hepatitis B and C.

Dr. Siegal offers the following five considerations before putting your toes into another person's care.

  1. Inquire into exactly how the spa cleans its tools. The preferred system is autoclaving over the typical ultraviolet light system.
  2. Carry your own tools. The best way to protect yourself is to purchase your own nail kit and carry it with you to appointments. One such kit is the Dr. Carolyn Siegal's Savvy Nail Kit, Figure 1, which is available at many upscale salons nationwide or directly through We also highly recommend that you take your own tub liners, such as Dr. Siegal’s Savvy Tub Liners, Figure 2. You can also use your nail kit at home between appointments for easy maintenance.

    Figure 1-Pedicure Kit

    Figure 2 - Tub Liner

  3. Check out the spa and look for signs of cleanliness. Are the work surfaces clean and dry? Do the nail technicians wash their hands between clients? Do the tubs use disposable liners? Larger tubs can harbor bacteria in their filtration systems and should be avoided. Also, look for the correct association and government licenses. These should be clearly posted.
  4. Inform your nail technician about any cuts, medications or health conditions you have that may affect your treatment. This is especially important if you are on blood thinning medications, if you are diabetic or have a communicable disease.
  5. Pay attention during and after the service. The service should never be painful during or after the treatment. Monitor your toes and feet for discolorations, sores or pain. If you do experience something unusual with your nails or skin, make an appointment to see us in our Seattle office.

To order a Safe Salon Pedicure Kit to ensure safe pedicures go to

Healthy feet allow for regular exercise and a happy healthy feet. If you have foot or ankle problems, make an appointment to see us in our Seattle office. We can provide you with conservative treatment options that will relieve your pain.

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All pages on this website © 2005-2013
Douglas Hale, DPM & Lawrence Huppin, DPM
Foot and Ankle Center of Washington, Seattle
The material provided on this web site is for informative purposes only.
If you need specific medical advice, please contact the office for an appointment.

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