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"Exploring the Benefits of a Medical Pedicure: What You Need to Know"

Many patients call the office or visit the spa, asking for a medical pedicure. Medical pedicures have been getting increased attention in the media discussing there hygiene aspects of the service. However, not all clients or patients require a medical pedicure and more importantly, salons and spas marketing a medical pedicure are not educating or providing an accurate service for their clients. The most important aspect of this service is who is providing this care. Below is some simple questions to consider before scheduling one.

Who should be providing a medical pedicure?

Medical pedicures should be provided by Licensed Registered Nurses (RN) who are also licensed as a nail technicians. A licensed nail technicianonly should not be offering this service! The reason for this is that medical pedicures should be provided for individuals who are at risk for infections. When looking at the education of a licensed nail technician which is approximately 6 months to a registered nurse which is in the range of four years. Registered nurses understand and have been trained on the policies and protocols for infection control.

Where should a medical pedicure be provided?

The ideal location for a medical pedicure to be provided is in either a podiatry office or a nail salon that is owned by a podiatrist or medical doctor. The reason for this is that proper protocol on sterilization and infection control policies are initiated in these environments. Having an affiliation with a licensed medical professional that specializes in foot care will not and should not cut corners to improve revenue

Who needs a medical pedicure?

Not everybody needs a medical pedicure as the salon or spa that you are attending should be processing the equipment, bowls, and supplies for every single client the same. Most states do not require medical sterilization for equipment and therefore use solutions to disinfect supplies. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to sterilize any equipment being used on a client. Individuals that have immune-compromised conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, leukemia, neurosyphilis, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, Guillain-Barre syndrome, paraplegia, Raynaud's syndrome, and chronic kidney disease are examples.

Are medical pedicures covered by insurance?

No. There are strict protocals provided by insurance and Medicare on who qualifies for preventative nail care. To learn more about these policies go to HERE

What is the average price for a medical pedicure?

The appropriate price is $80 as a medical pedicure takes on average 1 hour and utilizing medical grade supplies and equipment

Should you be getting a medical service at a traditional salon or spa?

No, most traditional salons do not have autoclaves to sterilize equipment, do not have medical-grade supplies, and most importantly a registered licensed nurses/ licensed nail technicians.

Are medical pedicures performed for ingrown nails?

No, licensed nail technicians or nurses at not allowed to remove ingrown nails. Only licensed medical professionals like podiatrists are licensed to provide treatments for ingrown procedures

Are medical pedicures for fungal nails?

No. Licensed nail technicians or nurses are not able to diagnose fungal nails. Every nail that looks brown, black, dystrophic, or thick is not fungal. Many diagnoses can be related to nail conditions and different pathology. The ideal scenario is that the patient/client sees a podiatrist and is diagnosed with fungal nails. A treatment protocol is created to address the nail conditions. Some fungal nails can be treated locally with medical pedicures combination with pharmaceutical topical treatments. However, scheduling and having a medical pedicure for fungal nails without the oversight of a podiatrist is not recommended and should not be allowed. If patients want to have their nails thinned because they're thick then yes this service can help.

Should you polish nails after a medical pedicure?

No, If you're looking to have a medical pedicure you're looking for a more hygienic, sterile, infection-control process for having healthy natural nails. Unfortunately, nail polish being traditional nail polish or gel polish has an increased risk of developing nail conditions. Further having nail polish can damage the nail itself if left to long. Therefore we look to provide and offer a more natural look without color enhancements.

In general, not everybody requires a medical pedicure and before you schedule one please be sure it'is the right service for you. All licensed salons have to follow appropriate cleaning protocols and provide that type of service on all manicures and pedicures. Medical pedicures are beneficial for immune-compromised or at-risk individuals who have a potential likelihood of obtaining an infection and/ or the guidence of a podiatrist. However, not every individual looking for a clean pedicure requires a medical pedicure.

Darryl Martins DPM

Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon/ Podiatrist

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