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Dos and don't for safe pedicures

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Tips before you pamper

Nothing is more relaxing than a day at the spa for pampering beauty treatments and a pedicure. However, it's very important to make sure that pedicures are not only relaxing and fun, but also safe!

In October of 2000, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the first known outbreak of Mycobacterium fortuitum cutaneous infections acquired from whirlpool footbaths.

Dr. Oliver Zong, a podiatrist in New York City, sees countless numbers of women who have suffered infections, fungus and worse at the hands of their pedicurist. Pedicure Zong urges his patients to take care of their feet by getting pedicures, but warns you must be an "active participant" when it comes to your spa experience.

Before you plunge your feet into the footbath, read the doctor's Do's and Don'ts here:

Dr. Zong's Pedicure-Do's:

  • Do ask salon workers how the foot spas are maintained and how often they are cleaned. Take notice of their actions while they are working on clients to see if footbaths are disinfected with each customer.
  • Do pay attention to the time spent cleaning footbaths between customers. The disinfectant needs to work for the full time listed on its label, typically 10 minutes, depending on the type of disinfectant. It is worth your health and safety to practice patience at the spa!
  • Do check your skin for infection during the days following your pedicure. Open wounds may appear on the skin of your feet and legs and can look like insect bites, but increase in size and severity over time.
  • Do visit your podiatrist or primary care physician if you suspect you may have a serious infection.

Dr. Zong's Pedicure-Don'ts:

  • Don't get a pedicure if you have cuts or abrasions on your feet or legs. Microorganisms living in footbaths can enter through the skin and cause infection.
  • Don't shave, wax or use hair removal creams within a day before getting a pedicure
  • Don't get a pedicure if you have bug bites, bruises, scratches, scabs or poison ivy.

Remember, beauty isn't worth sacrificing your health. Make sure all your beauty treatments are conducted in a clean, safe environment.

Dr Oliver Zong is a podiatrist in Manhattan's influential Financial District. As one of the premier cosmetic foot surgeons in the country, he serves as the Director of Surgery at NYC FOOTCARE and is on the Board of Directors at Gramercy Park Surgery Center. For more information about Dr Zong and his services, please visit NYCFOOTCARE.com.

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