Summer is the time for open-toed sandals and flip flops and many of our patients at Paul Klein, DPM FASFAC will be treating themselves to a professional pedicure. Before you relax into the pedicure chair, however, there are a few things you should check out to make sure you don’t leave the salon with a fungal infection along with your pretty polished nails.

Below are some questions to ask at your salon:

  1. Is the salon licensed? Most states require licensing to ensure that salons maintain certain standards of cleanliness and safe practices. Take a look around, as well. If work stations, the floor and displays do not appear clean, find another salon.
  2. What type of whirlpool foot baths does the salon have?  There are two types of whirlpool systems: piped and pipe-less. The pipe-less kind has a reduced risk of harboring fungi and bacteria in the system. Regardless of the design of the tub, the salon should clean and sanitize foot baths after each client. You should also avoid shaving your legs 24 hours before getting a pedicure. The tiny cuts you get from shaving can open the way for infections.
  3. How are tools sanitized? Autoclave sanitizing is the most effective method as it actually kills the majority of bacteria and fungi. This is important to prevent fungal infections which are spread by direct contact. There are also liquid solutions that tools can be soaked in for sanitizing.  The safest method of all, however, is to bring your own clippers, files and cuticle trimmers.
  4. Do they sell new flip flops? If not, you’ll want to be sure to bring your own. You will want the nail technician to put them on before polishing your nails so that your bare feet never touch the floor at the salon. Athlete’s foot, like fungal toenails, is also spread by touching a surface where the bacteria are.

Know the signs of fungal and bacterial infections: itchy, red skin, discolored or crumbly nails and if you suspect you may have one, contact our Wayne office for appointment. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, will be able to diagnose your condition and prescribe a treatment that will rid you of uncomfortable and unsightly infections.