As a qualified and experienced Podiatrist (with an extensive knowledge in foot anatomy and related issues) I see patients presenting with avoidable conditions, often a result of poor hygiene at local salons. Why risk your health and your feet? Please refer to my own persoanl experience of having visited a nail spa in the blog.
The most common complaints following visits to unsanitary nail salons are:
Toe nail fungus
Tinea (Athlete’s foot)
In grown toe nails from poorly cut nails
Cellulitis (infection resulting from cuts to skin)
and even Hepatitis
Many of these conditions are treatable, however, treating toenail fungus can take years to fix and ingrown toe nails may require surgery. Cellulitis at the least requires antibiotic treatment, but in its more serious stages (especially of there are underlying issues like poor circulation or diabetes) can also result in toe or foot amputation and even death.
Not only can I assess your feet, but provide an appropriate treatment and prescribe the right advice for your concerns. I can also educate you on how to best look after your feet and avoid their deterioration! Plus, for most people with health insurance that covers Podiatry, you can claim your rebate on the spot with HICAPS.
Currently, local government authorities are responsible for monitoring and legislating nail salon health standards; unfortunately the rising number of infections being spread suggests there is little being done to protect you. The question is why nail salons are able to provide treatment without regulations like these?
Podiatry clinics must fulfil the Australian and New Zealand Standards of Sterilisation to be able to be licenced to practice. All instruments are sterilised as required by law, greatly reducing your risk of picking up nasty bacterial, fungal or viral infections.
Why a MediPedi?
MediPedi Questions and Answers
Q: What does ‘sterilised instruments’ mean?
A: The Australian/ New Zealand Sterilisation Standards (AS/NZS 4185:2001) ensures that sterilisation is a process which ensures that all living microorganisms that may be present on an object are destroyed. All instruments used to perform a MediPedi are sterilised using steam heat from an autoclave, according to the Australian sterilisation regulations of infection control. This greatly reduces the risk of contracting an infection. Note: Methods that do NOT sterilise include dry heat sterilisers, ultrasonic cleansers, UV light cabinets, microwave ovens, disinfectants (incl bleach), boiling or ultra-sonic cleaners.
Q: Why are whirlpools/foot baths not recommended?
A: Whirlpools and hot foot baths used in the cleaning of the feet during pedicures are filled with unwanted microorganisms (tinea, nail fungus, various blood borne diseases) and skin particles that could only be prevented by sterilising the footbath in an autoclave (which is unachievable) between each pedicure system. However, at Soul to Sole Podiatry an individual liner is used in a foot bowel so that you can still enjoy the pleasure of a foot soak.
Q: Nail polish?
A: Nail polish can harbour microorganisms that can cause fungal nail infections, even if only used once on an infected nail. For this reason, a MediPedi is completed with a tea tree oil. This treatment that has antibacterial and antifungal properties and also leaves nails shining.
However, I am happy to paint your toenails but you need to bring your own (base coast, polish and top coat). Nail polish should be refreshed on a regular basis.
Q: Will you cut my cuticles?
A: No - because you shouldn’t! Cuticles are one of several structures that keep your nails strong and healthy. They protect the matrix (where the nail grows) from bacteria. Cutting your cuticles can easily lead to infections and can cause redness, inflammation, pain and even nail deformity. Cutting your cuticles can cause the overall condition of your toes and feet to deteriorate.
Cuticles shield new keratin cells from harm, as they age and lengthen your nails. Removal of the cuticle, which seals the gap between your nails and skin, could leave you susceptible to bacteria and viruses. A common infection, developed as a result of cutting or damaging your cuticle is Paronychia, which may manifest itself in such symptoms as swelling, pain and even yellowish pockets of pus.
Q: Can I share instruments and nail polish?
A: Do you like sharing your toothbrush? No you shouldn’t. Instruments such as files, emery boards and nail polishes can retain exfoliated skin particles. Conditions such as tinea can be spread from person to person, as a result of direct or indirect contact with these infected particles.
Q: What about fish pedicures?
A: A fish pedicure, also known as a fish spa, involves patrons dipping their feet in a tub of water filled with small fish called Garra rufa. Garra rufa are sometimes referred to as “doctor fish” because they eat away dead skin found on peoples’ feet, leaving newer skin exposed.
There are bans against fish pedicures based on at least one of the following reasons:
The fish pedicure tubs cannot be sufficiently cleaned between customers when the fish are present.
The fish themselves cannot be disinfected or sanitized between customers. Due to the cost of the fish, salon owners are likely to use the same fish multiple times with different customers, which increases the risk of spreading infection.
Chinese Chinchin, another species of fish that is often mislabelled as Garra rufa and used in fish pedicures, grows teeth and can draw blood, increasing the risk of infection.
Fish pedicures do not meet the legal definition of a pedicure.
Regulations specifying that fish at a salon must be contained in an aquarium.
The fish must be starved to eat skin, which might be considered animal cruelty.
MediPedi inclusions and price
The first part “Medi” is a routine standard Podiatry appointment. This includes taking a medical history and an assessment of your feet. Nails are cut, filed and buffed. Corns, callous and cracked heels are treated. Any other ailments/conditions are discussed and advised upon.
For a first time visit the cost for this is $70 and subsequent visits $65.
This is claimable with HICAPS for a rebate.
The second part “Pedi” involves a warm relaxing foot soak, exfoliation, massage and if you desire toenail painting with BYO polish.
The “Pedi” part is $30 or $20 without polish applied.
STOP PRESS: Additional MediPedi packages are in process of being developed to include prafiin wax, hot stone treatment etc. Watch this space.
If you were to see a Podiatrist and then go for a pedicure elsewhere this would cost you more in total. I offer a one stop shop with your health and safety in mind.
Come and experience my homely SOUL to SOLE practice whilst having your feet expertly attended to – you’re worth it.
What to bring:
Suitable shoes/thongs post treatment
Your own nail polish (if desired)