Health & Wellness

Something Great is Afoot

Come late Spring, everyone who’s anyone with words begins to tout the arrival of pedicure season with reviews of new nail salons, techniques and trends. But I, for one, am a fan of year-round foot health, not just warm weather grooming. And my secret weapon for year-round happy tootsies? Medical pedicures.


While they’re popular and plentiful in Europe and South America, they’re not as easy to find in the US. Most big cities have at least a few medical pedicurists. New York, Seattle and Los Angeles have several each. If you can’t find one, check with your podiatrist. She may provide one for you herself in her office, or can find someone else who can perform one.


What, you may ask, is the difference between a regular, run-of-the-mill pedicure and one of the medical persuasion? Well, a lot of things, actually. But it mostly comes down to cleanliness and maintenance. We’ve all heard about nail fungus being spread at nail salons. Some of us have even experienced that nightmare, and know it’s neither easy nor pleasant to remove. But why worry about treating a nail fungus if you can prevent it? Yes, lord, cleanliness. Let’s dive in.


african woman with blue pedicure and manicure

Medical pedicures are typically waterless. Those big tubs at nail salons? They aren’t always sanitized properly. Fungus source #1. Water also soaks into your nails, so if you paint after soaking, it won’t last as long. So back to the procedure. The technician will cleanse your feet, file your nails and treat any issues that need addressing — fungus, ingrowns, callouses, corns, etc. — before buffing both your skin and nails to a high gloss. Seriously, you’ll have baby feet when it’s done.


Since the objective of the medical version is different than the salon version, polish at the end is optional. If you choose to go with polish, your technician will probably use your own polish that you brought from home. Why? Fungus source #2, and this is a gross one. Nail polish harbors fungus. Yikes, right? Who ever wants to use a communal nail polish again? But I digress….


If you’re a runner, dancer, diabetic or doctor, or have a collection of high heels and the desire to actually wear them in the regular, then your feet truly deserve this. The curative powers a medical pedicurist can provide go miles above and beyond what you’ll get at a nail salon. And really? Doesn’t it all start with your feet? Whether in sandals or snow boots, they’re the foundation for everything we do. Let’s treat ‘em right.