by Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM MS
Nothing beats a day at the spa. From a relaxing massage to the perfect pedicure, the spa industry has experienced rapid growth over the last several years, especially post-pandemic. Like with any rapidly growing industry, quality control and regulations can be difficult to manage.
One spa service where safety and sterility are of great importance is the pedicure. Several research studies have reported mycobacterial outbreaks in pedicure salons and associated them with insufficient cleaning of foot whirlpools. In addition, reusing tools such as pumice stones and foot files has also been associated with a transfer of fungus and bacteria between customers.
To combat these risks there has been a rise in specialized medical spas that offer what is called a medi-pedi, or a medical pedicure.
A medical pedicure, sometimes called a dry pedicure, is an upgraded version of your traditional pedicure however it must be performed by a licensed medical pedicurist.
A medical pedicurist is a specially trained nail technician who undergoes advanced training to understand how to identify and manage foot conditions such as athletes’ foot, nail fungus, ingrown toenails, dry skin, and heel fissures.
In addition, a medical pedicurist is trained to use specific tools often used by podiatrists and must also stand behind strict measures of sterility and care.
Who Should Get a Medi-Pedi?
Anyone can see a medical pedicurist however many of the clients may be older, have various medical conditions such as neuropathy or diabetes, or have recurrent foot conditions such as ingrown toenails or fungal infections.
The average cost for a medical pedicure is $200 with the value found in the care and personalized treatment received. Most medical pedicurists do not paint your toenails with colored nail polish but rather use special oils and top covers that hydrate and strengthen the nails
After your medi-pedi, the medical pedicurist will educate you on post-pedicure maintenance consisting of weekly callus filings and nightly foot moisturizing. If you are prone to ingrown toenails they will also advise on how to avoid nail pain and teach you to save nail cutting for the professionals.
Interested in finding a medi-pedi spa near you? This is a growing specialty within the wellness space so you will most likely start to see them available in your area.