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What is a Medical Pedicure?

A medical pedicure, also referred to as medical pedi or medi pedicure, is a non-invasive procedure designed for individuals with certain health conditions that prevent them from getting a traditional pedicure or for other individuals with more serious issues in their feet and toenails that necessitates a higher level of care. A medical pedicure focuses on the aesthetic and hygienic treatment of the feet. Single-use and surgically sterilized instruments are utilized to care your nails. From the bowl you soak your feet in, to the brushes your technician utilizes to apply nail polish, you will receive the convenience of a specialist in podiatry and nail care right in the office.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Medical Pedicure?

You may be a good candidate for a medical pedicure if you:

  • Have diabetes or diabetic ulcers
  • Have a neuropathic condition
  • Are an immunocompromised individual and cannot risk getting an infection
  • Have foot conditions, such as fungal toenails, plantar warts, corns, calluses, or ingrown toenails
  • Have physical limitations and traditional nail salons are inaccessible

What is the Difference Between a Traditional Pedicure and a Medical Pedicure?

A traditional pedicure is more of a beauty treatment for toenails and feet. This basically involves a manicurist filling a basin with warm water to soak the feet and then removing dead skin, moisturizing the feet, trimming and shaping the toenails, cutting back the cuticles, etc. However, they do not possess the expertise to manage or provide care for individuals with conditions of the foot such as a foot ulcer, wound, poor circulation, nerve damage, or neuropathy, or other health issues such as diabetes which necessitates utmost care of the feet. So, the difference lies in the purpose and details of the treatments.

In general, a medical pedicure is distinctly different from a traditional pedicure:

  • Medical pedicures are carried out by a foot care specialist, either a certified medical nail technician or a podiatrist, who is an expert in podiatry and nail care.
  • A medical pedicure is a service that bridges basic nail care and podiatry with an emphasis on the assessment and treatment of foot issues, rather than aesthetics.
  • Medical pedicures are performed in a sterile, private room at your care provider’s office for optimal sanitation and comfort.
  • Podiatrist pedicures ensure the health of your feet by managing existing foot conditions, as well as detecting and treating problems in their early phases.
  • A medical pedicure addresses and treats issues such as:
    • Nail discoloration
    • Cracked heels
    • Foot pain
    • Exfoliation or dead skin removal
    • A buildup of skin in the nail folds and cuticles
    • Callus and corn removal
    • Ingrown toenails
    • Thick nails
    • Warts
    • Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and nail fungus
  • All treatments utilize medical-grade products and freshly sterilized instruments for each client. The sterilization process eliminates microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, spores, and viruses to prevent the transfer between individuals.
  • A medical pedicure is pain-free, often relaxing, and soothing.
  • Much like a traditional pedicure, a medical pedicure lasts about 45 minutes.

What Does Medical Pedicure Involve?

A medical pedicure is usually performed by a podiatrist. A podiatrist specializes in the assessment, management, and prevention of diseases and disorders of the foot. During an appointment for a medical pedicure, your podiatrist will start by taking a complete medical history, including past and current health conditions, current medications, and the primary reason for the visit.

To begin with, your podiatrist will check the condition of the foot and toenail, including:

  • Proper nerve function   
  • Adequate blood circulation
  • Signs of infection such as bacterial or fungal
  • Skin pathologies such as corns, callus, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis
  • Nail abnormalities such as discolored, thickened, or ingrown nails

Your podiatrist will then perform a medical pedicure. This will involve various aspects of nail care such as:

  • Mending dry cracked heels
  • Professional nail nipping (removal of hangnails and cuticles)
  • Filing, buffing, and shaping the toenails
  • Removal of corns, calluses, blisters, or ingrown toenails
  • Removal of dead skin by buffing the heels with professional, medical-grade equipment


Medical pedicures are effective preventive- and corrective-care methods to maintain the optimal health of your feet. Incorporating medical pedicures into your routine can prevent issues that might require more invasive correction. Even if you do not currently have foot issues, regular medical pedicures are a great tool for preventive care and are safer and more private than a traditional pedicure salon.

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