Understanding the Protocol of Pedicures at Salons

Nail art and pedicures are on the rise over the last 5 years, with the increased use of social media such as Instagram and Pinterest. You may often see celebrities or Instagrammers post their gorgeous nail arts and attract people. While pedicures give you shine in the everyday life, home pedicures can sometimes create issues, and even salon-based services carry the risk to cause a series of issues, such as infection, trauma. And allergic reactions to your toenails. So, it is important to understand the dynamics of pedicures. Let’s look at the step-by-step protocol that most technicians follow.

  1. Technicians remove old nail polish with nail remover. Then soften the nails and cuticles with a foot bath.
  2. Technicians use a metal or orange stick to clean the hyponychium to get rid of any debris.
  3. Technicians use cuticle remover or other instruments to remove cuticles.
  4. If there are any stains on the nail, they may apply a bleaching agent. And if there is any ridging on the nail plate, they may buff the nail.
  5. Then, nail technicians apply a base coat, nail polish, and top coat on the nails.

Here we see a possible problem. The hyponychium and cuticle that are removed in step 2 and step 3 are waterproof protection, which seals the nail from infection and the outside world. Removing these barriers could cause inflammation, Toenail fungus/bacteria/virus infection, and separation of the nail plate and nail bed.

Additionally, we also have to be careful with the infection from the multi-use instruments such as nail clippers, cuticle nippers. The CDC considers these instruments as “critical item,” that are associated with a high risk of infection.

Although the sterilization of these instruments is crucial, not all the nail salons follow a recommended protocol. Also, there are not enough state inspectors to monitor the numerous salons across the US to make sure they are following sanitation guidelines.

In these reasons, it is important for people, especially those who are prone to get nail infection or other conditions, to purchase and bring their own instruments to their salon so that risk of infection decreases.


These days, many physicians are opening up medical based pedicure salons. Those salons are safer infection-wise and are preferable for those who with the higher risk of nail infection such as people with diabetes, thin blood, or immunocompromised patients etc.

Choose your salon wisely and keep yourself from nail infections.

By |2018-09-26T13:44:50-07:00September 26th, 2018|