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Diabetes & Pedicures, Part 2: Tips for Safe Pedicures

If you have diabetes, dropping in for a pedicure at your local nail salon may be a bad idea. Diabetics are very susceptible to foot infections and must take precautions before planning a pedicure. Here are some tips from our Wayne podiatrists that can help diabetics find a safe nail salon.

  • Never get a pedicure when you have calluses, cuts, open sores, or ulcers on your feet.
  • Make sure your nail technician is licensed. Ask about her training and whether she has been trained to work with diabetic clients.
  • Check the salon’s cleanliness. Ask how tools are cleaned. If tools are not cleaned in an autoclave (a hot, pressurized chamber used in hospitals for sterilization), you may want to bring your own tools. However, be sure you clean them properly. It is possible to give yourself infections. Tools should not be opened until the moment you sit down.
  • The salon should use only stainless steel instruments. If emery boards, orange sticks or nail buffers are used, they should be discarded after each client.
  • Check the foot baths. Salons should use individual foot bowls or pipeless foot baths. Foot baths should be cleaned between each client. Make sure that the salon uses a hospital-grade, EPA-registered disinfectant made specifically for pedicure chairs.
  • Tell the nail technician that you have diabetes. Let her know that the water temperature cannot be too hot and that lotion should not accumulate between your toes. In addition, she should not clip your cuticles or file your calluses or heels. A nail technician should never use a credo blade (tool that looks like a razor) on diabetic feet.
  • Don’t shave for two days before the pedicure. Bacteria can enter the skin through tiny cuts.

If you have any concerns, hold off on the pedicure and talk to your Wayne foot doctor. Your podiatrist is familiar with your medical history and will be able to advise you about diabetic foot care and safe pedicures for your feet. To schedule an appointment, contact Wayne Foot and Ankle at 973-595-8900.