A hot and bubbly foot spa, relaxing foot massage, sitting down for an hour making idle chit-chat over a hot cappuccino… it’s no surprise that I loved going to a nail salon for a pedicure.
Then along came motherhood. Simple tasks such as escaping for an hour’s pampering required skills not unlike military planning. Co-ordinating grandma’s babysitting availability, the salon’s schedule and children’s nap time, was no easy feat. (Pardon the pun!).
So, when some Facebook friends shared links to a mobile beauty therapist who comes to your home, it sounded like a perfect solution. I booked an appointment right away.
That was my last ever pedicure.
Shortly after my treatment, I noticed changes to a couple of my nails. A slight whitening of the tip, which I simply disregarded. As time went on, this became more discoloured and some nails started to thicken. &%$@£$. I had contracted a nail infection.
Thinking of all possible causes, my mind jumped to my last pedicure and my head began spinning with questions. Questions I should have thought and asked at the time. But I didn’t.
How does she sanitise that foot spa in-between appointments? Was that towel clean and fresh just for me? Were the foot and nail files disposable / brand new for every client? Come to think of it, I don’t remember the cuticle clippers and tools being removed from sanitiser solution, like they do at a salon. Whilst I will never be certain that my at-home pedicure was the cause of my nail infection, it seems the most likely cause.
And you know the real kicker in all of this… aside from the infection? It wasn’t even that relaxing and pampering of an appointment. Sat in my living room on my couch with a therapist crouched awkwardley, made ME feel awkward. Then there was the running to/from the bathroom for warm water. Oh, not forgetting that the foot spa then needed an extension lead to plug in across the other side of the room. Give me a salon any day.
Questions You Must Ask When Booking A Pedicure
Next time you book a pedicure, either at home or in a salon, do your research. Ask friends and family for recommendation. Enquire about the salon / nail technician’s cleanliness and check review sites online.
Don’t be afraid to ask about their sterilisation techniques before you go. How do they sanitise their footbaths? Do they use disposable foot files and nail files for each client? Don’t be embarrassed to take your own. What about those foam toe-separators… are they new for each client or do they use tissue? Will they cut your cuticles? Don’t let them! (You’re never supposed to cut your cuticles, anyway).
An Alternative To A Pedicure
If you’re looking to get flip-flop ready, why not consider a visit to a chiropodist or podiatrist instead. As foot care professionals, they can take care of ALL of your foot care needs, including exfoliating, hard skin removal and nail shaping. They will also advise on your overall foot health. Whilst they won’t polish your tootsies, you can pop to a salon for a ‘polish only’ for just a few pounds or do it yourself at home.
18 Months Later…
I’ve learned that not only are nail infections way too common, but they are also very difficult to treat. Having already tried Excilor, Loceryl and 100% pure tea tree oil… I am about to try the newly launched Canespro. Stay tuned for an update… I’ll let you know if it works!