Sterile Pedicures

In the past there have been segments on ABC’s 2020 there was a segment about the cleanliness at nail salons. The segment discussed how there is a high rate of infections at nail salons. I would like to discuss on this week’s blog about sterile pedicures and their advantage.

In the 2020 segment, ABC went undercover and inspected how certain salons sterilized and cleanse their equipment. Many salons do not disinfect their equipment properly. At our office we provide sterile pedicures. What this means is that all our equipment is sterilized in an autoclave. An autoclave is a machine that cleans medical equipment via steam and pressure. For example, in an Operating Room all surgical equipment is sterilized in this fashion. Using an autoclave significantly reducing the risk of infection since most of the bacteria and fungus is eradicated in the autoclave.

Another common thing to be weary of at a public nail salon is the cleanliness of the water baths. It is difficult to sterilize a water basin that is used for pedicures. The ideal situation would be for a liner in the water basin that can be replaced between each pedicure.

What is the risk in getting an unsterile pedicure?

There are two risks when getting an unsterile pedicure. The first is getting an infection. If the equipment is not clean there is a risk of getting an infection. The second risk is getting an ingrown toenail. Approximately 25% of patients that I see in the office with infected or non-infected ingrown toenails are from nail salons. These patients relate to me that at a salon the technician was trying to get a corner of a toenail out and in the process an ingrown toenail was created. At our office we have medical licensed nail technicians, who have a special certification by podiatrists, who perform our pedicures. They use sterile instruments, new paraffin wax for each patient and cut the toenails across. If the nail technicians are concerned about an ingrown toenail they do not trim the nails and have the patient see the podiatrist.

What is it so dangerous for diabetics to get unsterile pedicures?

Diabetics are immunocompromised, which means their immune system is weakened, and therefore they are at higher risk for infection. In addition to diabetics, patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease are at higher risk of not healing an infection. Patients with these diseases should be careful about getting an unsterile pedicure, if they were to get an infection they would be at high risk of a non-healing wound.  Therefore, it is highly recommended to get a pedicure at our office, where the pedicures are sterile and there is minimum risk for getting an infection.

Recently I filmed “Health Update’ with Robin Stoloff on NBC 40. I discussed the benefits of getting a sterile pedicure. Keep an eye out for the segment to air in the next few weeks.