Sunshine! Beaches! Swimming Pools! Vacation! These are the sights and sounds of summertime.

Now that the weather is getting hotter, we have our toes out and are getting them groomed at our favorite nail salons or spas. While pedicures are a fun way to unwind and relax you must be careful as some pedicures can cause harmful infections especially if you have diabetes.

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts for a safe & healthy pedicure.

DO schedule an early appointment. In the morning, the foot baths are usually cleaner and if you are the first customer of the day there is less chance that other customers have not contaminated the foot bath. If you can’t arrive early sure the technician cleans the tub and the filter before your service.

DO bring your own pedicure utensils. Bacteria and fungus can move easily from one person to the next if the salon is not sterilizing the instruments properly.

DO have your nails trimmed straight across. Make sure your technician trim them straight across and does not dig into the sides or try to trim out ingrown toenails; this can lead to infections and be very painful. If you have an ingrown nail schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrist at Physicians Footcare.

DO watch for signs of infection. If your skin bleeds or gets nicked at the salon, make sure to carefully clean the area. If you notice signs of infection such as redness, swelling, discoloration, drainage or warmth at the area please make an appointment with one of our podiatrist.

DON’T shave your legs before your pedicure. When your legs are newly shaven, you leave small cuts in your skin allowing an opening for bacteria to enter.

DON’T use blades. Never allow a technician to touch your feet with a blade, cheese grater instrument or razor to remove dead skin. The use of sharp instruments can result in permanent damage and easily cause infection.

DON’T apply nail polish to cover up discolored nails. Thick and discolored toenails could be a sign of a fungal infection. Nail polish locks in moisture and does not allow the nail bed to breathe. If you think you have a toenail infection, schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists at Physicians Footcare.