Summer is here, which means it's time for those sandals and flip flops to come out of the closet

(WXYZ) - As the warmer weather finally arrives, sandals and flip flops are making their way out of the closet and slipped on underneath beautifully manicured feet. The pedicure season has begun!

Unfortunately, not all pedicure facilities offer clean and proper foot care and infections and other foot ailments may arise.  The Michigan Podiatric Medical Association (MPMA) wants to make sure you keep the following advice in mind as you select where you may go for a pedicure:

-  Make sure that the instruments used are clean and sterilized.  Ask the technician which cleaning procedure they use as well as the frequency of cleaning.

-  Soaking in alcohol is NOT an approved sterilization method.

-  Sterilization – rather than disinfecting – is the best method.  This can be done by using a cleaning agent such as hospital bactericide, fungicide or viricide.  Instruments can be sterilized in an autoclave or ultrasonic machine.

-  Make sure the instruments are sterilized after each use.

-  You may consider bringing your own tools – nail nipper, cuticle nipper, cuticle    pusher and curette cleaner

-  Make sure foot tubs or basins are drained after performing a pedicure to get rid of all the bacteria present.  Once all the water is removed, the inside of the tub should be wiped down with an antibacterial cleaner.

-  Make sure the technician's hands are clean. The nail technician should wash their hands in between clients. If they do not wash their hands, request that they do, or that they wear gloves.

If you are diabetic, pedicures are not advised.  Visit your podiatrist before receiving a pedicure to identify any potential risks.

-  Do not allow aggressive cleaning.  Nails should be cut straight with slightly rounded edges.  If bleeding of calluses occurs, see your podiatrist.

-  Discolored or sickly nails should be treated by your podiatrist.

       -  Since polish hides the nails from the sun and can foster fungus, you may wish to limit the use of polish to special occasions.  However, keeping your feet clean, nails trimmed and skin moisturized for summer sandal wearing is recommended.  Visit www.mpma.org to find a podiatrist near you.

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