Tips

Take care of your feet

(Always consult your doctor)

Preventing Pedicure Foot Spa Infections It's best to make sure you are safe Doing your own pedicure is best but if you go to a salon make sure you: Protect Your Skin! Microorganisms in foot spas can enter through the skin; so broken skin (e.g., cuts and abrasions) should not come into contact with foot spa water. Do not shave, use hair removal creams, or wax your legs during the 24 hours before receiving treatment in a foot spa.

Do not use a foot spa if your skin has any open wounds such as bug bites, bruises, scratches, cuts, scabs, poison ivy, etc. Identifying an Infection Open wounds appear on the skin of feet and legs. Initially they may look like insect bites, but they increase in size and severity over time, and sometimes result in pus and scarring.

Cause of Infections Some incidents of foot spa infections have been caused by Mycobacterium fortuitum. This organism can occur naturally in water and soil. Other organisms have also been found in footbath systems. The screens and tubes of foot spas are particularly good places for the bacteria to collect and grow, often forming dense layers of cells and proteins called biofilms, which can be very hard to remove.

Know how the salon cleans and disinfects foot spas. Ask salon workers how the foot spas are maintained and how often.

A foot spa should be disinfected between each customer, and nightly. The disinfectant needs to work for the full time listed on its label, typically 10 minutes, depending on the type of disinfectant. Proper cleaning and disinfection can greatly reduce the risk of getting an infection by reducing the bacteria that can build up in the foot spa system. Disinfectants used in the foot spa should indicate on the label that they're approved for hospital use. A disinfectant label should clearly show its uses and that it is EPA-approved.

Source: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/pedicure.htm.

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