Like most people, your feet are probably the most utilized yet least appreciated part of your body.
Feet take us everywhere whenever we are up and about and still have to stay grounded and provide balance when we are seated.
We usually do all these without paying much mind to it. But this doesn’t have to be so, and you can always treat those feet to some good leisure such as a pedicure.
This popular cosmetic spa treatment is usually focused on the feet to bring several therapeutic benefits to both the skin and nails of the feet.
The activities that make up a typical pedicure includes soaking then cleaning the feet, moisturizing and exfoliating the skin, cutting the cuticles and trimming the nails, and thoroughly massaging each foot.
Preferably, you can also have the nails painted to give you a pristine and new look. Not only does this treatment add beauty to our feet, but it also helps to heal them and make them more durable.
But, how often should you get this treatment? Is the treatment safe? And how should you carry your feet right after a pedicure? These are some of the questions we wish to address in this article.
How Often Should You Get a Pedicure?
Most people generally can’t decide upon the duration between one pedicure session and the next. They are unsure how often to get a pedicure and what too often means.
Generally, if you are trying to maintain happy and healthy feet, experts recommend that you go for a pedicure every 4 to 6 weeks.
This implies that you are not trying to improve any foot conditions and are only doing it for the basic nail trimming, foot soaking and cleaning, cuticle clipping and foot massage.
However, if you have an underlying condition you wish to improve or get rid of, you will need to get a pedicure every 3 to 4 weeks.
This will allow the technician to apply the appropriate treatment often and monitor the progress of the condition. The spacing is also crucial to ensure you don’t over-exfoliate and risk getting an injury.
Conditions that need more specific treatments may require you to get a pedicure every 2 weeks. This is called intermediate treatment and is scheduled so that you can get a pedicure in week 0, followed by a complete therapeutic session in week 2 and another pedicure in the fourth week.
Are Pedicures Bad For Your Feet?
A regular pedicure will allow you to feel pampered and confident at all times. However, people still often wonder if pedicures are bad for the feet.
In itself, pedicure poses no health threat to your feet. However, certain misdeeds can result in the development of foot fungus or ingrown toenails.
One of these misdeeds includes negligence or failure of the salon to sterilize their equipment. This is often a recipe for the spread of viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Others may include things you do wrong yourself, such as shaving right before getting a pedicure or constantly trimming your toenails too short.
Some of the signs that you have an infection include:
- Redness or swelling in some parts of the foot
- Red and swollen toe that may indicate an ingrown toenail
- Thicken nail with an apparent change in color (black or yellow) indicating a nail fungus infection
These conditions are not widespread and do not frequently occur as long as you pick the right salon and follow the rules. To save yourself from the risk of an infection, be sure to do the following:
- Please choose the right salon which has a license and sterilize their instruments always
- Never shave right before a pedicure, as this could leave you with cuts that can facilitate and establish an infection much quicker.
- Never trim your nails too short. Always cut them straight across to avoid injury and ingrown toenails.
- Exfoliate only when necessary and stick to the rough spots
- Always keep your feet moisturized with a thick moisturizer
When Should You Not Get a Pedicure?
Getting a pedicure is both healthy and beautiful. It leaves your feet looking beautiful and keeps them happy and healthy.
However, there are times when it will be unwise to get a pedicure. Getting a pedicure under certain conditions can pose a significant risk to your health as well as a danger to others.
You need to avoid getting a pedicure if you have an injury, a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection, or some diabetic foot issues.
While these conditions are things that would make you avoid a spa session, you might still need to discuss with your physician in case of other underlying issues.
When You Have an Infection
One of the worst times to get a pedicure is when you have an infection. Infections caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi are highly contagious and can easily pass from you to others.
Fungal infections, for instance, are predicated by a thick, yellow, and swollen appearance on the foot. If you see these signs, you should suspect a fungal infection and avoid going to the spa altogether.
When You Have Diabetic Foot Complications
Diabetes and neuropathy can affect the feet and make it risky to get a pedicure treatment. Most spa treatments generally involve filling calluses and corn, and when these are done to a foot with diabetic issues, it can result in infections and ulcerations.
When You Have An Injury And The Nails Are Falling Off
This is usually very common with athletes and runners, where they get injuries on their toes, thereby removing a nail or two.
However, it can also happen to just about anyone through an accident. If you get a damaged nail bed where the nail looks to be falling off, then you need to reconsider getting a pedicure.
The nails, in this case, are usually too sensitive and can cause severe discomfort and lead to possible infection.
You can wait for the wound to heal and for the nail to begin to regrow before going in for a spa treatment.
What Should I Avoid After a Pedicure?
What you get during a spa treatment generally depends on the length of your appointment. So that naturally, you would expect more quality pampering the longer your pedicure last.
However, there are things you must avoid doing immediately after your pedicure. Avoiding these things partly will result in better results and somewhat keep your feet looking pristine for much longer.
Some of the things you need to avoid after a pedicure include getting your feet wet and walking about in covered shoes.
The steps below should help you understand what to expect during a regular pedicure session:
Step 1: Cleansing and soaking
Most spa treatments generally begin with this – with your feet soaked in warm water and then cleansed. This helps to soften the skin and prepare it for the next step.
Step 2: Cutting and Filing
During this step, one foot is taken out of the footbath, dried off and the nails are trimmed and filed into a very uniform and attractive shape. All these happen while the other foot remains inside the warm water.
Step 3: Cuticle treatment
Once the nails have been properly shaped, the technician will apply a cuticle cream to all your toenails and then gently push back the cuticles giving the nails a much appealing appearance.
Step 4: Exfoliating and foot filing
Here, the nail technician will first apply an exfoliate cream all over the foot before using a foot file to carefully and gently remove dead cells under your foot.
Step 5: Moisturizing and massaging
Once the exfoliation is done, the next stage is often very pleasurable – including the use of rich moisturizing creams and aromatherapy oils and massage.
The skin around your feet and the bottom of your feet will receive acupressure or a reflexology-based massage to refresh and relax you.
Step 6: Polishing
Nail polishing is optional but generally, give the best pedicure appearance. Once the massage is complete, a base coat and a top coat polish will be applied to each toenail. The goal of using both polishes is to boost durability and provide extra protection for the nails.
Once these are done, the nails are allowed to dry, preferably under a UV lamp, to hasten the drying process.
How Soon Can You Shower After Pedicure?
Soon after the polish has been applied, your nails might appear dry after one or two hours. They may even feel dry when you touch them.
Yet, the saying “looks can be deceiving” is very accurate in this case. That the nails feel dry doesn’t mean they are dried and can be allowed near the water.
Hence, you will require about 12 – 24 hours before you can shower after a pedicure. And anything short of this can ruin the pristine look.
In the same vein, you will need to wait an entire week if you intend to go and swim in a pool filled with chlorine, as the chemical is widely known for removing nail polishes.
In a world where we all are constantly on the move, our feet serve a critical role in our day to day life.
And because we use them so often, getting a pedicure is not only a luxury but a necessity. Not only does it help to give you a delicate appearance, but it also brings the necessary therapy and healing that your feet so badly needs.
However, you will need to carefully follow the instructions provided above to ensure this helpful and beautiful experience does not become detrimental to your health.