PSA: Here’s *Exactly* How Often to Get a Pedicure
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Heading to the nail salon is one of my all-time favourite ways to pamper myself.
But I’ve never been entirely sure just how often I can justify going. Should I be getting a pedicure once a month? Every two, three, fours months?
And while pedicures are often seen as a relaxing experience, do they play an actual role in foot and nail health?
I spoke with podiatrist and Founder of ePodiatrists, Daniel Pledger, to answer all my pedicure questions, including how often to go, the benefits, and how to maintain your pedicure between appointments.
(PS. If you’re looking for how often to get a manicure instead, we’ve got you covered in our guide here).
How often should I get a pedicure: The short answer
Pledger tells us, “Regular pedicures can benefit foot health, but the frequency may vary depending on individual needs. As a general guideline, I recommend scheduling a pedicure every 4-6 weeks.”
He explains, “This timeframe allows for proper nail and cuticle maintenance and helps prevent issues such as ingrown toenails, calluses, and dry skin buildup. This amount of time also allows enough time for your nail beds to remain healthy while still getting the benefits of this cosmetic treatment.”
However, more frequent visits to the nail salon may be necessary for those who spend a lot of time on their feet or are exposed to harsh elements such as salt water or chlorine that can dry out the skin.
It’s also important for those with “specific foot conditions or are prone to certain problems. For example, individuals with diabetes or circulation issues should consult their podiatrist to determine an appropriate pedicure schedule tailored to their needs,” says Pledger.
What happens during a pedicure?
While every nail salon operates a *bit* differently, the basic pedicure process is fairly universal.
Your feet will generally be soaked in warm water before your technician removes old polish from your nails and clips, trims and files your nails.
Next, they’ll remove dead skin using a body scrub, scraper, pumice stone or foot file. Your nail tech will typically then massage your feet and lower legs before applying polish.
Some salons may offer gel polish or acrylic nails, which are longer-lasting options.
What are the benefits of a pedicure?
One of the *best* feelings in the world is leaving the nail salon with a new polish colour and soft feet. But are there benefits beyond the aesthetic?
The short answer is yes! Pedicures provide more than just a beautiful finish; they can help improve foot health in several ways:
- Prevent ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails are a painful but common problem that can be caused by tight-fitting shoes or improper trimming. Nail technicians have the tools and skills to properly trim your nails to minimise the risk of ingrown toenails.
- Good foot hygiene
Pedicures can help minimise unpleasant odours and remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that can accumulate over time. This helps to keep them smooth and free from any infection-causing bacteria.
- Prevent calluses
Calluses are thick, hard patches of skin that can form over time due to friction or repetitive motions. Pedicures can help to get rid of any existing calluses and reduce the chance of them forming in the future.
Pedicures are a great way to relax and unwind. Massages and warm water are great ways to soothe tense muscles and reduce stress.
Are there any risks with having a pedicure too often?
Pedicures are a wonderful way to pamper yourself and keep your feet looking great, but is there such a thing as too much time in the salon chair?
For some, frequent pedicures can weaken the nails, leaving them more prone to breakage or splitting.
The chemicals in some polishes and products can also cause irritation, which is why it’s a good idea to leave enough time between appointments for your nails to recover.
How to keep feet beautiful between pedicures
No one has time to run to the nail salon every couple of weeks for a pedicure, but there are some ways you can keep your feet looking and feeling their best between trips.
Pledger advises, “Maintaining foot and nail health at home is equally important and can complement the benefits of regular pedicures. Here are some tips to support foot and nail health:
1. Proper hygiene
“Keep your feet clean and dry, paying extra attention to the areas between the toes. Use a mild soap and warm water, and thoroughly dry your feet to prevent fungal and bacterial growth,” says Pledger.
2. Nail care
Trim your nails safely from home by following expert advice.
Pledger advises, “Trim your toenails straight across and avoid rounding the corners to prevent ingrown toenails. Use a clean and sanitised nail clipper or file, and avoid cutting nails too short to reduce the risk of injury or infection.”
“Regularly apply a moisturiser to your feet to prevent dry skin and cracking. Focus on the heels and soles, as these areas are prone to dryness. However, avoid applying moisturiser between the toes, as excessive moisture can lead to fungal infections,” Pledger says.
4. Footwear choices
Opt for comfortable, properly fitting shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. Avoid wearing tight or narrow shoes that squeeze the toes, explains the expert.
5. Regular self-examinations
Pledger says, “Take the time to inspect your feet regularly for any signs of abnormalities, such as changes in nail colour or texture, swelling, redness, or sores. Early detection of foot problems can lead to prompt treatment and better outcomes.”
Exfoliating the skin on your feet is also a great way to keep your feet looking and feeling soft, especially if you don’t have the time or money for frequent pedicures because, let’s face it, who has all of that extra dosh?
Pedicures are a great way to pamper yourself, whether for the summer months or a special occasion, and they come with numerous benefits. But, as Pledger tells us, “Supporting foot and nail health from home involves practising good hygiene, proper nail care, moisturisation, choosing appropriate footwear, and conducting regular self-examinations.”
Most people have great results from monthly pedicures, but it’s important to be aware of potential risks and know when to visit a podiatrist in cases of “ingrown toenails, fungal infections, diabetic foot care, persistent foot pain, or chronic foot conditions.”
Meet the expert
Daniel Pledger is a podiatrist and the Founder of ePodiatrists. He has been practicing podiatry for more than 15 years and has a wealth of experience in the field. Daniel is passionate about helping people to improve their foot health, and founded ePodiatrists with this goal in mind.