Here's a horror story for you: After getting a pedicure, a St. Louis woman developed a foot infection. She developed small red bumps that mutated into boils — one of which was as big as a baseball. An oozing, gross baseball. Her woes were due to a mycobacterium infection that she picked up from the pedicure station. Even if salons look clean, the bacteria are too small for the human eye to see. You don't have to give up pedicures, but if you go to the nail salon, follow these tips:

  • Don't use the whirlpool foot bath. The jets are hard to clean, and bacteria thrive in their dark recesses. Choose a still foot bath instead.
  • Don't get a pedicure until 24 hours after you've shaved/waxed/Nair-ed your legs.
  • Don't get a pedicure if you have scratches, wounds, or bug bites on your feet or legs.
  • Be sure that the salon is properly accredited and licensed.
  • Consider bringing your own pedicure tools.

And, of course, you can always go the DIY route by doing your pedicure at home. That's what I did last night, with no risk of oozing sores. Shudder.