We love a weekday mani-pedi special from the salon around the corner as much as the next woman, but the reality is that most establishments—particularly those of the janky whirpool persuasion—aren’t giving your feet the medical-grade TLC they really need. And considering it’s high season for strappy sandals and this season’s Fenty Puma slides, there’s no time like the present to make the health and appearance of your feet top of mind.
A medical pedicure is the only way to go and here, podiatric surgeon Dr. Krista A. Archer helps us break down precisely why they’re worth seeking out.
1. It’s much more hygienic. “There are an abundance of pedicure salons that are volume-based to stay in business,” says Dr. Archer. “This means faster client turnover and less attention to sterility of instruments and foot baths. For this reason foot fungus, such as onychomycosis and tinea pedis, are a major problem and among the top reasons why people come to see me.”
During a medical pedicure, you’ll find jet-less foot baths (jet tubes can often be contaminated with bacteria from skin and nails), as well as sterile, not sanitized, surgical instruments that are single use and thrown away immediately after use.
2. You get specialized attention. “The pedicure is performed by a specially-trained nail technician and supervised by a doctor,” she explains. “The technician is trained to recognize the top podiatric diagnoses, which are largely overlooked and ignored including fungus, warts, and ingrown toenails.” All in all, it’s a more in-depth, personalized experience—including diamond filing, nail border evacuation, all-business callous buffing and removal, glycolic peels, pink himalayan salt soak, and a leg/foot massage—with a medical eye obsessing over the details.
3. It still feels like you’re being pampered. Yes, you may be in a doctor’s office, but chances are the spa-like atmosphere won’t be completely compromised. You’ll have the cozy chair and a relaxing environment at the very least.
4. Your feet will look better overall. Dr. Archer recommends getting a medical pedicure once a month with polish changes in between. However, this should be at the office or spa where you’re receiving the treatment so as not to contaminate your pristine feet elsewhere. Doing so will ensure callus-free feet with a baby-skin-soft, supple texture, making your polished toes all the more immaculate.