Spa Stigma: Can You Get Your Nails Done If You Have Toenail Fungus?

The makers of the SteriShoe ultraviolet shoe sanitizer would like to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day! On this sentimental holiday, it’s common for women to go all out and opt for extra pampering at the spa. But what if you have toenail fungus? It doesn’t exactly go with chocolate and Hallmark greetings, does it? One reader wrote in to a columnist at the Chicago Times, wondering: “What do women who have a toenail fungus problem do if they would like to go get their toes all done up at a nail place? Skip it, and just do it themselves with a can of house paint?”

nail fungus pedicure

Valentine’s Day is a great time for a pedicure… even if you have toenail fungus.
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Can You Get Your Nails Done with Foot Fungus?

“You can get a pedicure if you have a nail fungus,” podiatrist Stephanie Wu from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science told the Chicago Times reader. However, it is important that you address the situation up front and honestly, rather than trying to slip one by the nail technician. You want to be sure that the salon you choose is equipped with sterilization practices and tools to handle nail fungus. In some cases, toenail fungus sufferers are asked to bring their own tools and polishes.

laser nail fungus treatment

Some spas specialize in laser nail fungus treatment.
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Who Treats Nail Fungus?

Of course, you may want to spring for a pedicure that includes toenail fungus treatment as part of the package. Nail polish can help conceal the yellow, crumbling appearance of toenail fungus, but topical lacquers are not effective for treating nail fungus. It’s impossible for topical solutions to penetrate through the thickened nail down to the fungal colony.

Some salons are now offering laser toenail fungus treatments in addition to their usual pedicure services. It’s a quick, painless procedure that uses light technology to zap the fungus dead at the roots. Laser treatment for fungal nails could run you as much as $1,000 unless you find a special deal, but it’s one of the least irritating way to eliminate foot fungus. You may also find spas that specialize in “cover-up” treatments, which include the application of a topical treatment that masks the fungus until the nail grows out.

keryflex nails

Keryflex covers up fungal nails until your new healthy nail grows in.
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The podiatrist is another place you can go for a nail fungus solution. It’s not as “pampering” or as “glamorous,” but at least you will get a definitive diagnosis and explore all your medical options (including prescription oral antifungal pills) to cure foot fungus fast… well, as fast as possible, anyway.

Tips for Booking a Toenail Fungus Pedicure

Spas are a wonderful treat, but some facilities are guilty of spreading the fungus around. Physician Dr. Earl J. Campazzi Jr. tells the Palm Beach Daily News that it’s best if people look for licensed medi-pedi spas. “Bring your own foot basin or ask for a disposable one,” he advises.

“Avoid whirlpools, as they cannot be completely sterilized. Bring your own tools or make sure that the instruments used are sterilized in an autoclave…. Bring your nail polish or insist that a new/sealed bottle is used. If you already have nail fungus and want a manicure, decorum would suggest you follow the same steps to avoid any possibility of contaminating others.”

Florida nail technician Samantha Levine of Kaffee’s Garden Spa says she doesn’t judge her clients. “I’m not here to treat or diagnose,” she says. She does make sure that she speaks with podiatrists so she knows how to give pedicures to clients with nail problems, which she finds “very rewarding.” Sterilization is an important part of her practice as well. It’s okay to ask a salon what precautions they take to prevent the spread of onychomycosis. That way, when you are cured of your malady, you will feel comfortable going back for another pedicure. And don’t forget to properly sterilize your socks and shoes to prevent a toenail fungus recurrence!


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