How Safe Is Your Salon?


At NY Foot Health, we know that once summer starts regular pedicures are standard practice for many New Yorkers. However, a nail salon can also be the perfect place to catch a bacterial or fungal infection like athlete’s foot or fungal toenails. Why? These types of infections love places that are warm and moist. They are spread by direct contact, so they tend to thrive and multiply in places where there are lots of bare feet. There are steps you can take, however, to minimize your risk and protect your feet. Below are some suggestions:

  • Make sure your salon has passed state inspection. Reputable salons should have a certificate from the health or cosmetology department displayed in the salon. If you don’t see one, ask.

  • Watch that nail tools are being properly sanitized between clients. If you see that your nail technician is opening a sealed package for your tools or taking them out of an autoclave (looks kind of like a toaster) that’s a good sign. Some salons use a solution to sanitize tools, but it is not as effective. If possible, use a salon that lets you bring your own clippers, cuticle trimmers and file. That’s the safest of all.

  • Don’t shave within 24 hours of getting a pedicure. Shaving creates tiny cuts in the skin. Although they are not visible, they can provide easy access for bacteria.

  • Be sure that whirlpool foot baths are cleaned after each use or that a disposable liner is being used and replaced after every client.

  • Note the overall state of the salon. If the floor is dirty, restrooms seem in disarray or you see a lack of cleanliness in general, find another salon.

If you notice changes in the skin or nails on your feet—discoloration, thickening, peeling—or experience itching, a rash or other discomfort, make an appointment with your podiatrist to get it evaluated. If you need to find a qualified foot doctor in your area, we can help. Consult our online directory to find a podiatrist near you. To learn about other conditions that can affect your feet and ankle, contact us.