When you shave matters
You shouldn't shave before getting a pedicure, says Choi, as pedicurists do not care if you have hair on your legs. Also, shaving your legs makes you more prone to infection as newly shaved legs have opened pores (and often tiny nicks you can't see) that are susceptible to infectious diseases. So don't be wary of showing off some stubble at the salon, she says.
Some tools can't be sanitized
You can only put metal tools in the autoclave, says Choi. And as we stated before, only an autoclave kills a 100 percent of all bacteria and viruses. Nail salon tools like pumice stones, emery boards, nail buffers and foam toe separators need to be swapped out after each use to prevent the spread of bacteria. That's why you're best off bringing your own -- just in case the salon doesn't follow this practice. If you see any white residue on a nail file, it means it's been used on someone else.
Footbaths aren't your friend
"Whirlpool footbaths," though seemingly safe, are filled with city water, which may or may not be free of microbes, says the doctor and are typically difficult to clean. Even though most nail salons disinfect their tubs, researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention typically find bacteria that could cause boils and rashes in most according to the "New York Times." And it's extremely hard to bust these salons with having microbe growth, as many times salons aren't linked to the infections because boils can take as long as four months after a pedicure to develop.
You don't need your calluses removed
Many salons will try and talk you into callous removal, as it is usually an additional service and charge. But Skyy Hadley, celebrity manicurist and owner of the As "U" Wish Nail Spa, says it is not always necessary. "If you're an athlete then you should never remove your calluses as these actually help level your performance. If you are not an athlete, you should have your calluses removed with a deep soak and scrub once they become thick and uncomfortable," she says.
If you do opt for callous removal, always choose scrubbing or a chemical remover. Never allow your nail technician to cut or shave the skin off your feet. "Cutting is cutting," and "not recommended," says Choi. Not to mention, the more you cut, the thicker the calluses will grow back, she advises.