Were you in bed recently, and your blanket snagged on your dry foot skin? If not, you’re welcome for that visual. If so, darlin’, you need a pedicure.

Don’t be embarrassed; we’ve all been there. You put your socks on, and it sounded like nails on a chalkboard. You looked down at your naked feet and noticed your heels were starting to crack and your feet were ridiculously rough. This is especially common after winter, but the good news is it is 100 percent fixable. Men, I’m looking at you too.

When we think about manicures and pedicures, we often imagine a service that is just for women. However, that is not the reality at all. Young, old, male, female — everyone should get a pedicure.

What Is a Pedicure?

Getting a pedicure at a nail salon.

Some people think that a pedicure is just a beauty treatment to make your feet look less ogrish. However, that’s not strictly the case. Sure, the procedure removes dead skin and makes your toenails look nice, but it also has health benefits. A pedicure can help prevent ingrown toenails, get rid of germs, and improve brittle nails. A pedicure can also provide early detection for problems like bunions, corns, and fungal infections.

As with anything new, you probably want to know what to expect when you go for your first pedicure appointment. Don’t worry; it’s nothing outrageous. In fact, pedicures can be extremely soothing.

First, if you are a woman, your pedicurist is going to remove any nail polish from your toes. If you are a man, that step will be skipped (unless you are wearing polish). Second, your feet will go into a tub of water. Sometimes, that tub is like a little whirlpool for your feet. Other times, it’s just an ordinary tub of water. After your feet have soaked for a bit to soften the skin, your pedicurist will take your feet out, dry them, and apply cuticle remover. Next, your toenails will be shortened, and then your cuticles will be pushed back. Once your toes are taken care of, the dead skin on your feet will be removed. And finally, the pedicurist will rub lotion all over them. Your pedicurist may do these steps in a different order, but that’s about the gist of it.

Manicure and Pedicure: Treat Yourself to Both

When you go to the salon for your pedicure, you should also treat yourself to a manicure. Most salons offer a manicure and pedicure package deal at a slight discount. A manicure is basically just a pedicure for your hands. There’s really nothing better than leaving a salon with soft feet and soft hands. Believe me; you will be extremely happy if you do both.

Pedicures and men: should they?

Yes! Listen, guys, no woman or man wants you to scratch them with toenails that resemble the talons on a bird of prey. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve most likely seen someone with those gross nails in public. Or, like me, you’ve had the misfortune of being scratched by your partner’s nails while cuddling. Don’t listen to your friends who say that pedicures are just for women. They’re probably the same guys who are scratching their spouse at night with their talons. Their wives wish they’d go to the salon. Don’t be like them.

Get the pedicure. Your life will be better for it. Your partner will love you for it, and your feet will thank you.

How do I find an affordable pedicure near me?

Finding a nail salon is not like finding a hair salon. This is mainly because there just are not a lot of nail salon chains. You can find multiple trusted franchises for nearly everything from clothing to pizza. But for some reason, there is just not a whole lot of options to choose from for a manicure and pedicure. However, after much searching, we’ve found a couple that hopefully have locations near you.

Regal Nails Salon & Spa

Regal Nails has about 925 salons across the country, and many of them are inside of Wal-Mart Supercenters. They offer fantastic pedicures at a reasonable price. Although prices may vary a bit by location, here is what you can expect:

Pedicure: $17.99Manicure: $9.99Manicure and pedicure: $26.99

L.A. Nails

L.A. Nails expanded to Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, California, and Texas in 2014. According to Salon Lady, they offer services at a cheaper cost than some of the other local, independently owned salons:

Pedicure: $20Manicure: $12Manicure and pedicure: $30

Another way to find a great nail salon is word-of-mouth. Your friends will have likely been to a salon at some point and found one that they love. Listen to your friends. They will be able to tell you things that you cannot find by searching the internet. Also, you know that your friends aren’t going to lead you into a shop that never cleans their instruments and leaves their customers with fungal infections or other gnarly diseases.

Are there risks when getting a pedicure?

Yes, there can be, but only if you go to a salon that does not properly clean their instruments. According to Dr. Jackie Sutera, a New York-based podiatrist, there are things that you can do to limit the risk.

First, Dr. Sutera recommends that you never allow the pedicurist turn on the bubbles in the foot bath. “The jets in the whirlpool bath can harbor bacteria and fungus,” she says. According to the doctor, she sees ten to twelve patients per week who have viral or fungal infections caused by these whirlpool baths. She recommends that you find a salon that uses pipeless foot baths and sanitizes for at least 10 minutes between each customer.

The doctor also recommends you bring your own nail files and foot pumices with you. If you bring them from home, you know that they have not been used on anybody else. You can also make sure you’ve sterilized them properly before your pedicure.

Basically, don’t go to a salon that looks like they never clean their equipment. Never allow them to use plastic instruments on your feet unless you see them open new packages. Finally, do not allow them to call you over right after another client has finished their pedicure.

Go Treat Yourself to a Pedicure

Really, go get one. You can, of course, give yourself one at home, but I promise you, it’s not the same. Find a great salon, take off your shoes and enjoy. Self-care is extremely important, especially when our lives are so stressful. A pedicure is an affordable way to relax and calm down after a crazy work week. Allow the pedicurist to rub your sore feet and calves. Enjoy the warm, soothing water as it softens those rough feet. Lean your head back on the comfortable salon chair, close your eyes, and forget about the work projects, kids’ projects, and grocery shopping.

If you want to keep your feet in great shape between pedicures, check out our article here.

Treat yourself to something special. Don’t make excuses. You can stop what you’re doing for a half hour and enjoy yourself. You deserve it. And guys, treat your significant other to the security of knowing that you will never again scratch their legs with those long, sharp nails. Pedicures are your friend too.

Featured Image: CC by 0, by nosheep, via Pixabay