Can You Get a Pedicure If You Have Gross Feet?
First thing's first: you don't have gross feet. At least, no grosser than those of the general population. And certainly not as gross as the grossest feet your local nail tech has seen.
Don't believe us? You don't have to. We spoke to three nail-salon professionals all about nail-salon etiquette: Katie Grays, owner of Bella Donna Day Spa in San Jose; Irene from Fifi Nail Salon in New York City; and Barb Shea from Team Blonde outside Chicago. All three assured us that, as far as pedicures go, you have nothing to worry about. They've seen it all,"from the beautiful feet to the warted feet," says Irene.
If you're still concerned that your feet are too gross for a pedicure, or you're wondering how to address your foot issues with your nail tech, read on. Then, ditch those worries and get ready to sport those summer nail trends without fear.
Will they tell me if my feet are gross?
Probably not! As noted above, professional nail techs are totally used to working on all sorts of feet. "We are the professionals and we see it all," Katie said. "So if you think that you are 'weird' or 'strange,' ask us. You will be surprised how frequently we see it."
Of course, they might point something out to you, just to see if you're aware of the issue, or to better identify a problem so they can address it during the service. ""We'd rather educate our clients than be grossed out," said Barb. "So if we see a built-up callus, we'll reduce it as much as we can and then give the client recommendations [to keep it from coming back]."
Will a pedicure help an ingrown toenail?
You can still get a pedicure with an ingrown toenail. But just be aware that your nail technician can't make the ingrown go away. "If you suffer from ingrown nails, we can assist ... but only to a certain point," Katie said. "The State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology will only allow us to go so far. If you have a large ingrown then we may refer you to your doctor. Please don't ask us to go further, we simply can't. We would love to help as much as we can, but we don't want to make it worse either."
Still, if your issue is minimal, it doesn't hurt to ask if the salon has any tips for dealing with or preventing ingrowns. Irene noted Fifi Salon's European medical pedicure, which takes aim at calluses and ingrown toenails, finishing with a 15-minute reflexology treatment.
Can I get a pedicure if I have toenail fungus?
Truthfully, people do it all the time—most of the time because they don't even know they have the fungus. The experts we spoke to can identify it pretty easily though and might draw your attention to it. "If someone were to have a foot fungus, we'll ask them, 'Have you noticed your toenails looking different?'" Barb said. "We can't diagnose them, but we can refer them to a podiatrist."
A pedicure probably won't hurt you if you already have a toenail fungus. But if you're aware of the issue, you might want to alert the staff ahead of time. That way, they can be sure to fully sterilize the equipment after you use it. In some cases, they may even ask you to bring your own disposable tools for the job.
Don't be worried about a tiny bit of discoloration, though. "As far as yellow toenails, that's usually from polish," says Barb. "We'll tell them how to take care of it."
Worried about yellow nails? Check out our guide to toenail fungus treatments.
Which clients have the worst gross feet?
Our experts were too professional to point any fingers, but another interview subject, Natalie, thinks she knows the answer: runners. A runner herself, Natalie has competed in 76 races since 2002. My toes usually bare the brunt of the damage. I've lost some toenails along the way," says the mother of two.
But she definitely doesn't let her busted feet keep her out of the pedicure chair. In fact, she likes to schedule one just before her races. "I need some pampering after all of the work I put into training," she says.
"Once [a nail technician] asked if I dropped something on my toes," she said. "That's the only time I am sorry about being a runner. ... I feel self-conscious for a millisecond and then get back to reading my girly mag."
We think that's the right attitude to have.