Viven Williams: There's nothing like getting pampered with a pedicure. But before you dip your toes in the water, check to be sure the spa is licensed properly.

Rachel Miest, M.D. Dermatology Mayo Clinic: Oftentimes, those licenses come with the appropriate education, and following the appropriate protocols for how to keep you safe and how to prevent infection.

Ms. Williams: Dr. Rachel Miest says bacterial and fungal are the two most common infections. To avoid them, she says, don't be afraid to ask to make sure the spa cleans all equipment between customers.

Dr. Miest: Even if all of the appropriate precautions are taken from a cleaning standpoint, bacteria, viruses, fungi ─ these things are everywhere.

Ms. Williams: To reduce your risk, Dr. Miest says don't shave 24 hours beforehand and don't have your cuticles cut.

Dr. Miest: Ask that they only either leave your cuticles alone or gently push them back but not to aggressively push them back or clip them because that cuticle is a very, very important seal.

Ms. Williams: For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.

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Dec. 22, 2020