MountainStar Health - November 20, 2019

If you think having diabetes means you can't enjoy a relaxing pedicure, think again. While protecting your feet is important, with precautions you may be able to treat your toes to a bit of pampering. Just follow these safety tips.

First, check with your doctor: Get the all-clear from your diabetes doc that a pedicure is safe. If your diabetes is under control and your feet are in good shape, the answer should be yes.

Scope out the salon: Before booking an appointment, pop in for a quick recon mission. Ask about their cleaning practices. Foot baths should be disinfected between customers, and clippers and other tools should be sanitized in a disinfecting solution or surgical autoclave. Also, ask whether technicians are licensed.

Bring your own nail care kit: Unsanitary tools can be a breeding ground for germs. Eliminate the risk by bringing your own tools. Ask if this is allowed when booking your appointment.

Book with a diabetes-certified technician: Bonus points for safety if the salon has a medical nail technician on staff. Do a Google search for "medical nail technician near me" or ask your doctor or support group for recommendations.

Don't shave your legs: Avoiding the razor a few days before your appointment prevents tiny, hard-to-see cuts in your skin that can increase the risk of infection. If you have any sores or cuts on your legs or feet, postpone your appointment until they heal.

Make a morning appointment: Visiting a salon right when it opens will help ensure the tub and tools are freshly sanitized.

Speak up: Notify technicians that you have diabetes and ask them to be gentle and avoid anything that could injure the skin. Ask for a lukewarm foot soak. Make sure nails are not cut too short. Request that cuticles be pushed back, not cut.