Figuring out why the bottoms of your feet hurt after a pedicure can feel impossible at times. Is this your first time experiencing this, or does every pedicure leave your feet in pain? We have done the research to find some good answers. So let's discuss.
There are various reasons your feet hurt after a pedicure. If the soles of your feet begin to hurt or burn post pedicure, they might be reacting to the chemicals used in the salon. Generally, nail salons use hospital-grade cleaners and sanitizing products, so there is a chance your feet came in contact with harsh chemicals. Another reason your feet might be hurting is that your pedicurist exfoliated your soles too roughly.
As we begin, we will cover all things pedicures and tag some helpful products. Whether you have never experienced this before or always seem to be in pain post-pedicure, we've got you covered. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Do Pedicures Make Feet Worse?
When it comes to pedicures causing more trouble for your feet, this is possible. Too much exfoliation is generally not good for your feet and can cause discomfort. Getting pedicures every so often should not cause pain or discomfort in your feet, so cutting back your visits might be a good idea.
Another thing to consider is how clean your nail salon is and if you might have a foot infection due to improper sanitizing during your visit. Always make sure to check the area around you and ask your pedicurist to clean their tools before using them on your feet.
How Often Should You Get A Pedicure?
Generally, we recommend getting a pedicure one to two times per month. For the most part, the polish on your toes should last two to three weeks, so that is a good indicator of needing to schedule an appointment. If you struggle with dry and cracked feet, over-exfoliating them can make your problem worse. Of course, you can always discuss this with your nail tech/pedicurist, so they know to take it easy.
Why Do My Feet Crack After A Pedicure?
Similar to itching or burning soles, your feet might also crack due to chemical exposure or over-exfoliation. As we said, nail salons use harsh chemicals to sanitize their workstations, so this might cause extra dryness on your feet.
Another reason your feet crack after a pedicure is that they are over-exfoliated and don't have enough moisture. Generally, your feet soak before your pedicurist scrubs them to encourage dead skin to soften, but this sometimes is more irritating than soothing.
Moisturize Before A Pedicure
Although this might not be something you'd think to do, we recommend moisturizing before a pedicure. A good routine to follow would be a daily moisturizer for your feet before bed or in the morning to promote healthy, hydrated skin. Like any part of your body, it can't hurt to hydrate your skin as much as possible, even before a pedicure.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
This hydrating cream restores your skin's barrier in a week, is non-greasy, fragrance-free, and is dermatologist recommended.
How Do I Know If I Got An Infection From A Pedicure?
You might have an infection if you start to notice itching, burning, or irritation after a pedicure. Generally, your toenail area will be the spot where an infection occurs, so keep an eye out for abnormal symptoms. A few common signs of infection include:
- Cracked toenails
- Burning sensation
- Even blistering on your feet
Although most bacterial infections related to pedicures are not life-threatening, we do suggest speaking with a doctor if your symptoms are severe. We also recommend contacting your nail salon and letting them know this has happened so they can address it immediately.
Treating Infected Toe Nails
If you find yourself with a bacterial infection post pedicure, try soaking your feet in warm salt water a few times per day. Another home remedy for infected toenails is an over-the-counter antibiotic or antiinflammatory to help soothe the affected area.
Generally, your infection should not last more than two weeks, so make sure to monitor your symptoms and contact a doctor if needed. Although mistakes happen, we recommend finding a new nail salon with stricter cleaning protocols to avoid future issues.
Foot Cure Extra Strong Nail & Toe Fungus Treatment
Here we have an all-natural nail and toe fungus treatment from Foot Cure. This product uses tea tree oil to fight bacteria, repairs your natural toenails, nourishes irritated skin, and is cruelty-free.
Ebanel Antifungal Treatment
Here is an antifungal treatment from Ebanel to use on infected toenails. This treatment has active Salicylic acid and Miconazole, essential oils, and promises to relieve itching and burning feet.
How Do I Soothe My Feet After A Pedicure?
When it comes to soothing your feet after a pedicure, moisturizer is your best friend. Typically, your feet should already have lotion on them from your pedicure, so allow that to seep into your skin. Once you are home, apply more lotion to your feet if they begin to feel dry or irritated. From what we have found, it is better to over-moisturize rather than wait until you need it. If your feet still feel sore or hard to walk on after using lotion, try a foot soak or even massaging them before bed.
O'Keeffe's Healthy Feet Foot Cream
Here is a healthy foot cream from O'Keeffe's to use after a pedicure. This moisturizer promises to heal and repair dry feet, is unscented, and comes in different bundle options.
Aromasong Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak
Here is a foot soak from Aromasong to use on irritated feet after a pedicure. This product has tea tree oil and raw Dead Sea salt, 100% natural ingredients, and promises to soothe and repair troubled feet.
What Should I Not Do Before A Pedicure?
In general, you should try to avoid exfoliating and shaving before a pedicure. Although these might seem like helpful steps to take, they make you more susceptible to irritation and even infection. Your nail tech will soak and scrub down your feet and legs during your appointment, so keep your prep simple.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your pedicurist will remove your current polish, so you don't have to do that beforehand either. Usually, foot baths at nail salons are the cleanest in the morning, so we recommend making an earlier appointment.
Are Pedicures Good For You?
When it comes to the benefits of pedicures, we think the good outweighs the bad. Whether you get pedicures because they help with your confidence or overall health, we believe they are good for you. Not only do pedicures make your toes and feet look good, but they also help promote blood flow and good mental health.
Although the risk of infection from a pedicure is always lingering, you should not need to worry too much about it as long as you find a reputable salon. Even checking out nail salons reviews is an easy way to see how well they handle their cleaning and if people's experiences are positive.
Who Should Not Get A Pedicure?
If you suspect you have a fungal or bacterial infection, do not schedule a pedicure. Although a nail tech might know what steps you should take, they cannot work on someone with a suspected infection. We recommend speaking with a pediatrist or professional about your feet before making a pedicure appointment to ensure you aren't putting others at risk.
Another candidate that should not get a pedicure is someone with an open wound or cut because that increases your chance of developing a bacterial infection from your nail salon. It is best to wait it out and reschedule once your wound has fully healed.
To Wrap It Up
Whether you regularly get pedicures or not, foot pain should not be happening. If you notice the bottoms of your feet feeling sore or tender, this might be due to the chemicals used in your nail salon or too much exfoliation. From what we found, it is best to apply a soothing lotion to your feet and soak them in warm salt water until the pain goes down.
If you develop a fungal or bacterial infection after a pedicure, make sure to monitor the area and contact a doctor if necessary. Regardless of where you get your nails done, make sure to communicate with your pedicurist, and don't be afraid to check their cleaning protocols.
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