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Choc-a-block schedules have made pedicures a staple for many professionals, housewives, and working moms, who are often expected to be multi-tasking rockstars. When your feet are placed in the foot bath all of your stress is automatically switched off as you travel to an all-relaxation zone. Also Read - Drinking Excess Alcohol in Winter Season Can be Harmful to Your Heart: Study

But the place we rest and rejuvenate our feet can be rife with risks. An article published on Health news, said that some of the salons can spread viral and fungal infections, including hepatitis. A primary cause could be the use of unsanitized tools to pamper and preen your nails and uncleaned footbaths containing bacteria and germs. Also Read - EXCLUSIVE: Omicron Cases Detected In India, Dr.Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO Explains Symptoms And Preventive Measures | Watch

Here are some precautions you can take to avoid the health hazards at the pedicure salons:

1. Check if the metal tools your pedicurist is using on you are sterilized:  The Environmental Protection Agency requires for all metal tools are to be soaked in liquid disinfectants before using them on customers. This is helpful in getting rid of microbial life, that can cause infection. So, ask your pedicurist if the tools they are using are sanitized before your pedicure session begins.

2. Make sure the foot tubs are cleaned between clients: Lets face it— not all feet that walk into spas are clean. So, if these pedicure salons do not clean the foot tubs regularly, the odds of catching an infection are high. Podiatrists also suggest that it is best to avoid foot baths if you have any cuts, bruises or open sores. These areas of broken skin serve as passages for the bacteria to enter your body.

3. Avoid Doctor Fish: The fish pedicure, is the practice of letting fish feed on the dead and damaged skin of people’s feet. The trend initially started in Britain, and now the frenzy for fish spas has spread across the world. These are the kind of pedicures you want to stay away from. As per a letter published in Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, these fish, which are mostly imported from Asia, can carry a wide array of bacteria and diseases.

4. Square Toe Nails are Better for foot health: Tell your pedicurist to shape your toe nails square and not oval. Hillary Brenner, a podiatric surgeon based in Manhattan says that, round toenails are more likely to dig into skin, causing painful ingrown nails.

A quick footnote on pedicures for men:

A common misconception regarding pedicures is that the sole receiver of a salon pampered foot is women, this notion is not true.

The basic idea of a pedicure is performing a series of actions to maximize the efficiency of your feet. Pedicures help prevent dead skin build-up on your soles and enhance foot health. Pedicure sessions also include trimming of toenails, which prevents the fungus formation beneath the skin and protects your feet from bacterial infections.

According to a foot hygiene survey conducted by Shopzilla in 2006, only 15 percent of  men have had a pedicure. Pedicures are great tools to improve foot health when done by a salon that follows the health guidelines effectively.

If you wish to enhance the efficiency of your feet feel free to use the tips listed above and schedule your pedicure today.