Pedicures have always been a luxurious staple in society, dating back to Ancient Egypt.
The more well-kept a citizen’s feet were, the higher their social standing would be, making pedicures popular.
Today, over 41% of women implement this ancient beauty ritual into their monthly beauty regimen.
History of Pedicures
Some circles believe pedicures originated in the pharaoh’s royal palaces in ancient Egypt.
Ancient Egyptians were known for being particular about their feet and legs; it was a common practice.
Both men and women would receive beauty treatments that are quite similar to modern-day pedicures.
There’s some evidence to suggest that in 425 BC, Greek cultures adapted pedicures, as well.
Skin scrapes, for example, became more refined and were used for removing calluses and corns.
As the years progressed well into the 1400s, medieval families relied on salves to rehydrate skin on the feet.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that pedicures have a long-standing history among humankind.
What Happens When You Get a Pedicure?
Getting a pedicure is an incredibly soothing experience, primarily if the feet haven’t been maintained in a long time.
It’s a relatively quick process, but it contains many steps that nail technicians must perform.
Knowing what I was in for when I went for my first pedicure helped me prepare for the lavish treatment.
First, the type of service must be considered, as pedicures can be done in different ways.
Paraffin Wax Pedicure
Using warm wax, the nail technicians rub the feet and lower legs, allowing the wax to harden over several minutes.
Paraffin wax is unique in that it soothes and moisturizes the skin, leaving it feeling supple and soft afterward.
This service is best during any season, as moisturized feet tend to look healthier.
Luxury treatments often combine most, if not all, of the pedicure services at a salon.
There will be foot and leg massages, paraffin wax treatment, warm wraps, as well as any painting.
After the fundamental steps have been finished, there are a few different painting services to choose from.
Gel and shellac are often preferred, as the polish hardens and sticks to the nails better than standard lacquer.
A less expensive option, standard lacquer dries quickly and can easily be changed without soaking.
Fundamental Pedicure Steps
Pedicurists follow these steps to prepare the feet and toes for massaging and painting.
Step 1: Nail Polish Removal
Often, the existing nail polish on the toes will be removed before soaking.
This process ensures the soothing elements in the soak penetrate the nail, helping to soften it to be perfectly buffed.
Acetone and a cotton ball are the best options for removing traditional lacquer. Adding aluminum foil can help with gel.
Step 2: Foot Soaking
The next step is to soak the feet so that dead skin can be softened.
Often, there will be a large basin where the feet are kept while warm water and jets soothe them.
Pedicurists will put bath mixes that contain soaps and Epsom salt to help soften the skin so that it can be treated.
Step 3: Cuticle Removal
There are cuticles on toenails that need to be removed for an accurate paint job, similar to the fingernails.
Using cuticle removers and cuticle pushers, the nail technician will get rid of this excess skin.
This process is painless and can help to create the ideal toenail shape.
Step 4: Exfoliation
Exfoliation is the most lengthy part of a pedicure because it involves working away dead skin.
By the end of the foot soak, a pumice stone or specialty grater can be used to get rid of excess skin.
This step is also when the pedicurist works away any calluses to leave the feet feeling soft.
Step 5: Trimming and Filing Nails
Once the feet are perfectly smooth, it’s time to move onto the toenails.
Using toenail clippers and files, pedicurists will trim and shape the nail, ensuring that it’s not cut too short.
It’s always best to go for squared-off nails to prevent the development of ingrown nails.
Step 6: Polishing
Depending on the type of polish that’s chosen, the nail technician will then paint the nails.
The process can take slightly longer with gel and shellac, as it requires an LED or UV light to cure.
Traditional lacquer, on the other hand, can take a couple of minutes to dry.
Step 7: Moisturizing
As the finale, returning moisture to the skin is essential.
Often, pedicurists will start with moisturizing and massaging the feet and then work up the leg.
How Long Does a Pedicure Take?
Pedicures aren’t a good option for tight schedules, primarily since they’re made to be a luxurious
Also, pedicurists like to leave the feet soaking for extended periods to ensure all of the dead skin can be removed.
On average, pedicures can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the chosen services.
How Long Do Pedicures Last?
It’s important to note that pedicures don’t last forever, which is why men and women get them regularly.
The best way to ensure pedicures last longer is to frequently cream the feet and wear appropriate shoes.
Otherwise, dead skin can start to grow back quickly, ruining the pedicure within just three to four weeks.
Another good way to gauge the timing for a second appointment is the quality of the polish.
If the toenail polish has started to wear away, it’s time to book a second appointment.
How Much Do Pedicures Cost?
Different salons will have various services, which are mainly based on their popularity and quality of products.
Some of the smaller salons I have visited can charge anywhere from $15 to $25 for a traditional pedicure.
However, these services don’t include luxurious items, like paraffin wax or soothing massages.
On the higher end, pedicures can cost upwards of $60, especially if I opt to get a gel or shellac pedicure.
Does a Pedicure Hurt?
It’s highly unlikely that pedicures will hurt, even with sensitive feet.
The only time I have been cautious was when my cuticles were being clipped, as pedicurists can sometimes go too low.
Aside from that, I thoroughly enjoy the relaxing feeling of having my feet soaked, painted, and massaged.
Does a Pedicure Tickle?
This question is far more common, especially among those with sensitive feet.
I am extremely ticklish, but pedicures are still somewhat manageable and comfortable for the most part.
The only time I get hesitant is when it’s time for exfoliating, as some pedicurists work gentler than others.
I found that the softer the professionals use the pumice stone, the more ticklish my feet become.
Considering there are approximately 7,000 nerves in each foot, it’s very likely pedicures become ticklish at one point or another.
How Long After a Pedicure Until I Can Wear Socks?
Wearing socks after a pedicure is a great way to preserve the softness of the skin.
One of my favorite tricks is to put a moisturizing balm on the bottom of my feet at night before wearing my socks.
This process allows the cream to absorb into my feet, leaving them soft and smooth in the morning.
However, after finishing a pedicure, it’s best to avoid socks for up to an hour after painting.
I prefer to wear a pair of open-toe sandals, such as slides, to assist with ensuring the paint dries properly.
Do Men Get Pedicures?
A common myth is that men don’t get pedicures, which is sad since they’re actually beneficial to overall foot health.
Men getting pedicures is an essential part of self-care and is also recommended for cleanliness and upkeep.
Pedicurists help remove dirt and grime from under the toenails and dead skin from the sides and bottom of the feet.
The techniques pedicurists use help to improve blood flow to the legs and feet, as well.
Another essential component to pedicures is toenail maintenance, which helps prevent ingrown toenails.
Can I Get a Pedicure With Bad Toenails?
One of the central premises of pedicures is to help transform bad toenails into healthier and more appealing nails.
Nail technicians can fix the shape of toenails, shorten their length for comfort, and improve the nail beds’ look.
However, if there’s a medical concern leading to bad toenails, avoiding the salon could be preferable.
It’s best to talk to the specific business to see if there are special handling procedures for the particular medical condition.
Should Children Get Pedicures?
Children’s feet are soft and healthy as the feet haven’t seen as much wear and tear as adults.
There’s no need for the feet to be exfoliated, and there aren’t any calluses, so pedicures aren’t essential for kids.
Still, foot soaking and polishing are perfectly safe and healthy for children.
Are Pedicures Safe?
Pedicures can be safe, especially when done in a trained and trusted salon.
Some neighborhood salons don’t follow as stringent rules as others, putting the feet at risk.
I have a rule of checking online reviews before going to salons, as past patrons provide truthful information.
Using this method, I have been able to avoid plenty of mishaps with my general foot health.
It’s essential to find a salon that encourages using new tools per client or frequently sanitizes their equipment.
A few of the risks that I was aware of before going to a new salon included:
- Ingrown toenails
- Foot fungus
- Dangerous infections
Is My Nail Technician Trained?
Deciding if nail technicians are trained depends on the quality and prerequisites of salons.
Also, local laws typically require those providing health and beauty services to have the appropriate certifications.
Before getting an appointment, research whether the salon has passed recent inspections that prove each employee is certified.
Certified nail technicians learn much more than how to paint toenails; they delve into medical conditions, foot anatomy, and more.
Some of the components of the average nail technician course at college include:
- Exploring a variety of treatments
- Developing familiarity with esthetics
- Requirement to perform classic pedicures and spa pedicures
- Discussing specific pedicure-related medical conditions
- Examining foot and leg anatomy
- Training on classmates, models, and clients
How Often Should I Get a Pedicure?
Preplanning pedicure appointments can be a fantastic way to keep up with foot health.
On average, an appointment every four to six weeks will ensure the feet are maintained adequately.
With this timing, healthy feet can stay healthy without requiring substantial improvements.
As an added benefit, the more often appointments are booked, the less time the appointment will take.
It’s best to choose a timeline that suits each individual’s needs, as some require treatments earlier than others.
For example, I prefer to get a pedicure every three to four weeks as my dead skin grows back quickly.
Can I Get a Pedicure With Athlete’s Foot?
Although toenail fungus and athlete’s foot present many of the same problems, they come about differently.
With athlete’s foot, it’s better to avoid getting a pedicure because some treatments can worsen it.
Adding moisture to the area can also cause the infection to spread. And since it’s highly contagious, it’s dangerous to others.
Even typical treatments such as foot filing or using a pumice stone can worsen the athlete’s foot.
Can I Get a Pedicure With Toenail Fungus?
It’s possible to get a pedicure with toenail fungus; however, it’s something to think twice about.
When I had toenail fungus, I opted to stay away from salons because I didn’t want to transmit the fungus accidentally.
However, most salons are well-equipped to handle patrons with foot fungus concerns.
Ensure the nail technician is aware of the concerns so that the correct tools can be used.
Disposable nail tools or metal tools that can quickly be disinfected are preferred to prevent spreading the fungus.
Can a Pedicure Cure Nail Fungus?
Although pedicures are quite useful, they’re not an appropriate treatment for nail fungus.
Treating nail fungus requires killing the fungi at the root, which can often be found underneath the nail.
Also, there are unique antifungal treatments that need to be applied to the affected area to begin treatment.
With nail fungus, it’s better to seek assistance from a podiatrist rather than a pedicurist.
Why Do I Have an Infected Toe After a Pedicure?
If there’s an infection in a toe after a pedicure, it could result from poor hygiene practice.
It’s far too often that salons close due to poor hygiene. For example, 107 salons in Dubai were closed due to health protocol violations.
When visiting a new nail salon, it’s essential to watch how the pedicurists use their tools.
A few critical questions to ask before booking include:
- Are tools being thrown out in between clients?
- Is there sanitization equipment that looks used?
- Do the technicians clean the foot tubs in between patients?
- Does the business have any offputting reviews on trusted websites?
Why Do I Have White Spots on My Toenails After Pedicure?
White spots on the toenails after a pedicure don’t necessarily mean a fungal infection.
It could be a sign of leukonychia, resulting from injury to the nail bed.
Getting gel nails is a common way to see damage on the nail bed, as well as acrylic.
If the white spots don’t go away after the nail heals or the problem worsens, it could be a fungal infection.
Some studies suggest wearing polish for extended periods can cause fungus.
Alternatively, low health protocol can lead to the transfer of toenail fungus between patients.
Why Are My Toenails Yellow After Pedicures?
Yellowing toenails are most often a natural effect of nail polish.
Certain pigments in the formula can attach themselves to the nail’s outer layers, causing significant staining.
It’s essential to continue monitoring the nails to determine if it’s a fungal infection or overusing nail polish.
If the problem stems from the polish, removing it and allowing the nails to be natural for a week or two should help.
Why Is There Black Under My Toenail After Pedicure?
A black toenail after a pedicure likely isn’t from toenail fungus, unless there’s dirt buildup under the nail.
It’s more likely it’s a sign of an underlying health condition or trauma inflicted on the nail.
For example, if the toe has been stubbed or if something was dropped on the surface of the
It’s essential to seek medical help if the black toenail isn’t a result of trauma.
Can a Pedicure Remove Corns?
Pedicures don’t remove corns.
However, they can help to make the removal process more comfortable.
Having a licensed professional soften corns can allow for corn removal products to penetrate the skin easier.
What If My Toe Hurts After a Pedicure?
The type of pain experienced can help determine whether medical treatment should be sought.
In my experience, pain in the cuticle region or general nail soreness can often be attributed to a technician with a heavy hand.
Still, I have also known people with soreness that have developed significant fungal and bacterial infections.
If there’s toe pain after a pedicure, inspect the skin surrounding the nail. It could be early signs of an infection if it appears to be red, hot, and swollen.
Can I Do a Home Pedicure?
Home pedicures are a fantastic option for a luxurious treat.
There are plenty of phenomenal products to consider for less of a cost than visiting a salon.
At-home pedicures are ideal for foot fungus, as the infection can be contained.
Best Home Pedicure Products
With the HoMedics Bubble Mate Foot Spa, overworked feet can easily be rejuvenated.
The spa features water jets and raised nodes to allow for consistent massaging of tired feet.
There’s also a built-in pumice stone that helps to work away calluses and patches of dead skin.
The unique design of the spa’s exterior is splash-proof, and there are built-in toe-touch controls.
With 18 pieces of manicure equipment, at-home pedicures have never been easier with the ESARORA set.
Also, it arrives in a sleek leather case that is specifically designed for travel.
Each of the tools is made from 100% high-quality surgical-grade stainless steel.
Some of the items included are cuticle pushers, nail scrapers, nail and toenail clippers, and more.
For circumstances where special care is needed, this Ingrown Toenail Tool Kit is essential.
It comes with everything necessary to help correctly align nails to prevent discomfort.
The clipper set helps to get the perfect straight nail edge, while the corrector helps prevent nail curvature.
Each of the tools is made from surgical-grade stainless steel and is easy to maintain and sanitize.
These rechargeable callus removers are the perfect addition to an at-home pedicure kit.
Instead of manually scrubbing away dead skin, this device does all of the work.
It assists with over 30 different foot-related procedures while feet are either wet or dry.
The device is designed to be IP67 waterproof and comes with four different heads for removing calluses and dead skin.
As an added benefit, smart protection stops the device if too much pressure is applied to the feet.
In situations where feet haven’t been treated in a while, this Callus Remover Gel is a great option.
When applied, it helps to soften the skin and remove calluses and dead skin within 10 minutes.
It can also be a better alternative to scrubbing away dead skin because it works more effortlessly.
It’s possible to use a pumice stone with the solution to help tackle even the hardest calluses.
With its professional design, the Glass Pumice Stone helps remove hard skin on the bottom.
The grooves on the glass are designed to be more challenging than traditional lava pumice for better treatments.
Each scrubber is double-sided, with one side recommended for foot scrubbing and the other for exfoliation.
Using a foot soak with at-home pedicures is essential for softening and sanitization.
The M3 Naturals Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak is highly recommended because tea tree oil has natural antiseptic properties.
An assortment of essential oils is also added to the formula for a more relaxing and luxurious experience.
Some of the essential oils include rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, and spearmint.
The soak is also infused with stem cells and coconut oil to help rejuvenate tired, poorly maintained feet.
It’s a highly recommended product for foot odor, toenail fungus, calluses, and muscle pain.
Foot peel masks boomed in popularity in recent years due to their versatility.
Instead of scrubbing away dead skin cells, these masks tackle calluses, cracked heels, and more.
By using coconut, papaya extracts, and natural skin-safe ingredients, dead skin will be naturally removed.