Many people with diabetes enjoy pedicures. The spa treatment can be relaxing, and pedicures can help improve the appearance of your feet. However, there are some risks associated with getting a pedicure if you have diabetes. For your own safety, it’s essential to understand the risks and what to do if you develop a foot wound after a pedicure.
Risks of Getting a Pedicure at a Salon
A salon pedicure could cause a dangerous infection. The infection risk is high for people with diabetes because:
- Salons can spread bacteria and fungi. Some salons do not clean tools or foot baths between customers. Unsanitary conditions can allow bacteria and fungi to spread.
- Wounds can develop. People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing wounds on their feet because of poor circulation. If you get a cut during your pedicure, there is a risk that it could become infected.
- Diabetic neuropathy can cause loss of sensation in your feet. Because of this, you might not feel pain if the nail technician accidentally cuts you or if they use too much pressure while massaging your feet. As a result, you could end up with an injury you are unaware of until it becomes infected.
An infection could occur from an open diabetic wound, such as a cut or an abrasion. Abrasions typically occur when nails are trimmed too short or filed too aggressively. Abrasions may also be caused by using harsh chemicals on the nails or cuticles during the pedicure process.
You can minimize the risks of salon pedicures by only going to appropriately licensed and clean facilities, bringing your own tools, not shaving prior to your appointment, and asking the nail technician to push back your cuticles rather than cut them.
Are At-Home Pedicures Safer?
In some cases, at-home pedicures may be safer. You eliminate the risk of spreading bacteria from customer to customer. However, you still have to be careful to use sterilized equipment and avoid wounds and abrasions that could cause an infection.
If you decide to give yourself a pedicure at home, you can minimize infection risks by:
- Making sure your feet are clean and dry before starting your pedicure. Wash them with soap and water and then dry them thoroughly—especially between the toes where fungus likes to grow.
- Trimming nails straight across to avoid ingrown nails. Be careful not to cut too close to the skin. If you are not confident in your ability to trim your own nails, ask someone else to do it for you.
- Avoiding nicks and cuts. If you accidentally injure yourself, clean the wound immediately with soap and water and apply pressure if necessary. Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with a sterile adhesive bandage or wrap.
Even if you take all of these precautions, you could still develop an infection or wound.
Contact a Podiatrist If You Develop a Pedicure Foot Wound
People with diabetes can indulge in a pedicure now and then. However, there are some risks that need to be considered before you get your feet sandal-ready. If you choose to get a pedicure at a salon, be sure that sterile tools are used and that the foot bath is sanitized before using it. If you would like to do a pedicure at home, sterilize all tools before use, make sure your feet are clean and dry, avoid cutting cuticles or nails too short, and apply lotion at the end.
Additionally, you should be aware of signs of infected wounds after a pedicure. If you experience redness, swelling, soreness, discoloration, or discharge, it’s essential to contact a podiatrist as soon as possible.