Should I See A Podiatrist Or A Pedicurist?


Let’s face it, most women (and some men) want their feet to look nice or to have fresh nail polish to match their outfit for a special occasion, especially as the weather warms up!   This article goes through the differences between Podiatric care and pedicures and will try and answer the most commonly asked questions regarding the topic.

Are pedicures safe?

While a professional pedicure can help you feel pampered and confident in open toed shoes and summer sandals, there are health risks associated with nail trimming, cuticle clipping and foot soaking. Salon pedicures can put you at risk for developing foot fungal infections, ingrown toenails and other dangerous infections because the instruments used may not be fully sterilised.


What are the risks when I get a pedicure?

Any time you are in a public facility – with lots of customers, the potential for nicks and cuts, and employees who may be too rushed to properly clean equipment and tools – you have a higher chance of contracting bacterial and fungal infections.

For those who have poor circulation in their feet, it is definitely too high risk to have a pedicure where nicks and cuts need to be avoided at all times.  This is because your healing response is slower and a simple cut could likely turn into a nasty wound that will take a long time to heal. 

If you’re wanting to get a pedicure, we encourage people to make sure the nail salon uses sterilised instruments.

Who should NOT get a pedicure?

If you have Diabetes, especially with poor circulation and numbness in your feet, we DO NOT recommend pedicures.  With these conditions, it’s best to avoid places that puts your feet at a higher risk of getting an infection through incorrect nail cutting and skin debriding techniques or through the use of non-sterile equipment.


If I want to have a pedicure, what should I look out for?

There are two main things you should look out for when choosing a pedicurist:

1) Be sure salon employees thoroughly drain, sanitize and rinse the footbaths between customers – bacteria or fungal infections can be introduced from soaking your feet in the water, particularly if you have a small cut, bug bite or scrape. And even if the tub itself is disinfected, the potential for risk is still there – dead skin and bacteria can build up in the foot bath’s hard to clean water jets.

2) Choose a reputable nail salon that is licensed to sterilize its instruments – or a salon that used brand new tools from a sealed package for each customer.

If you want to be safe, forget the footbath and opt for a polish change only!

How do I know if I have a foot infection?

If you’ve recently had a pedicure and concerned you may have an infection, keep an eye out for these common foot conditions:

      Ingrown toenail – the toe will be painful, red and swollen

      Nail fungus – the nail will thicken and change colour (usually yellow or black or white powdery appearance)

      Infection – redness, swelling and heat at infection site (such as on the foot or leg)


What should I do if I suspect I have an infection from a pedicure?

You should see a Podiatrist if it’s an ingrown toenail or a fungal infection. Some cases of fungus can take six months to a year to improve with treatment. If it’s an ingrown toenail, we can reduce the pain at the clinic.

How does a Podiatrist differ to a pedicurist and when should I seek their help?

Having a Podiatrist attend to your feet is very different compared to having a pedicure. Generally, pedicurists are trained to trim your toenails and file a bit of dry hard skin off, with varying results. For some people, this may be all they require, but there are also other reasons why you might want to consider a podiatry treatment over a pedicure.

A Podiatrist is a health professional who has completed a 4 year university course, and has the knowledge and skills to examine and address just about every foot and lower leg problems. 

Podiatrist adhere to National infection and control standards.  Being in a regulated professional body, Podiatrists need to ensure that all of the treatments carried out are evidence based, and undertaken safely with strict infection control.  All the instruments used have to be sterilised to prevent any cross-contamination between patients.

Knowing when to see a Podiatrist is important.  If you have a toothache would you go to see your doctor for your tooth problem? No! You would go to your dentist. So why would you go to a beauty salon for a foot problem?  Come see us for any foot problems you think you may have.  Don’t wait – book an appointment ONLINE now.

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