Friday, March 13, 2015

Meanwhile on Dr. Oz.....Nail salons are a dirty business!!!!

This is a topic we beat to death, but for good reason, even the most sensible and smart ladies I know(including doctors, lawyers, college professors and my super smart stay at home mom friends) many people who still continue to take the risk of manicures and pedicures even though they know there is a chance they could walk out with an infection.  So this makes me think they really don't realize the risks, and how great the risks are.

Since I am a foot doctor, I am going to stick to the pedicure side of the coin. I can tell you anecdotes over the last 13 years of patients that have come into the office after a  pedicure with an infection that is bacterial or fungal.  I see at least 20 plus patients a week that present to the office with a fungal infection that is a direct result of a pedicure.  I try to make the patient feel better knowing that at least they didn't get a bacterial infection that could have led to limb loss, but somehow this is not comforting to those who just want a pretty nail!  Our need to be beautiful sometimes precedes good common sense and judgement.   The picture to the right is of a fungal nail infection that was a direct result of a pedicure. This is what you put yourself at risk for if you are not asking the right questions at you nail salon. But this is not the worst case scenario of how bad your pedicure can affect your limb.  There are accounts that have been published where nail salon clients walk out unknowingly infected with a bacteria that eventually would lead to amputation or death! (Death By Pedicure, by Dr. Robert Spalding  Chattanooga Fu Fu Factory; 1st edition (August 19, 2006))

Getting a pedicure is sometimes considered a relaxing treat that helps us beautify ourselves at a fraction of the cost of what we spend on our hair.  But the reality is that most of us feel uneasy once we sit in that chair and contemplate the water in the tub below our feet. In a recent episode of Dr. Oz (who by the way gives my patients many terrible ideas for treating their problems, but in this case I agreed with him)he had a certified medical nail tech explain many of the dangers you can encounter in your standard nail salon. People choose the cheap nail salon for a pedicure but may be picking up a problem that could cost them thousands plus dollars to treat and may never get rid of it!

Below is a link to the Dr. Oz episode from this past February, where Dr. Oz and the certified medical nail technician go over the importance of sterilizing instruments that are used for a pedicures. They go over what you should be looking for in your pedicure salon. I recommend watching this clip when you are done with this blog. (warning you have to sit through a 15 second commercial you can't skip but after that it gets good)

A certified medical nail technician is what you will find often times in a podiatrist's office that offers pedicure services.  A certified medical nail technician is licensed via their state that has completed the Advanced Nail Technician Certificate that is above and beyond what their state requires.Cosmetic pedicures are performed by the certified medical nail technician in a podiatry practice.

It always seems like a shameless plug when I mention that we have a technician that performs pedicures in our podiatry office. But the reality is, the only reason we have this service is because we are in the business of keeping feet healthy! So we developed spa services in our office that are for those who care about their feet as much as they care about their hair.  It is sad to to think that some people spend over $150 every 8 weeks for highlights and style for hair but then turn around and cheap out on their feet, which they need to walk on! It is totally true that the cheapest pedicure you can get in our office is an express $50 and our most expensive pedicure is our Therapeutic Spa Pedicure for $65.  But when you have a pedicure in our spa it is not an inflated cost of a pedicure(which you have to watch out for an inflated cost of a pedicure that is not taking your safety into account). What you get is the following The Safe Pedicure Experience:

1.  A sanitation protocol that is above and beyond our surrounding market.  All instruments are autoclaved. No dirty instruments are ever used on a client. Our nail technician uses universal precautions using disposable gloves for each client and she understands that the gloves are to protect not only her but also you!

2.  All buffers and files in our spa are disposable. The use of disposable liners for the tub and a magnetic jet that can be removed and sanitized between each patient goes above and beyond the industry standard.
3. Nail polish is not used from client to client.  In our spa, you pick your color and it goes home with you after the pedicure. Our nail polishes are specially formulated and are 3-free.  They do not contain harmful chemicals that can contribute to unnecessary damage to the nail.  There are many great colors to choose from!

4. My favorite part is that it is private.  It is just you, in an environment that is safe and luxurious.  Our spa is pretty and relaxing.  You can choose to close your eye and rest and you are not hearing a million conversations at once, or you can watch TV or chitty chat with our awesome nail tech Brooke! Brooke has over 10 years experience and is professional who knows what needs more advanced care.

Brooke understands that our spa is different then others and takes great pride in being part of something special.

5.  We also offer other services like the KeryFlex Nail restoration for deformed nails.  KeryFlex a is cosmetic treatment that can give you beautiful nails for up to 8 weeks. This procedure cost $150  and this is not a treatment for nail fungus, but for those who struggle with thick nails and just want to wear sandals for the summer this is an awesome treatment.

If you would like to learn more about our safe pedicure experience visit our website at

Also, if you have not listened to our podcast "Is your Pedicure Killing You?" I included the link for you below, it is informational and entertaining.

Remember to take care of your feet, you are only given two so treat them right!

Michele McGowan, DPM
Center for Ankle and Foot Care
Clermont, FL
Summerfield, FL