Pedicures – Medical, Cosmetic, Oh My

A pedicure can be viewed in so many different ways. They key is for the general consensus to be that it is not a frivolity that can come and go with the mood of the day. Ideally a pedicure should be viewed as part of a self-care routine that ensures healthy feet for life. How you choose to position your pedicure is up to you, just make sure you are being honest and staying within the scope of your practice.

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The biggest two styles out there commonly tossed about are the “medi pedi” and the cosmetic pedicue. A medi pedi is slang for one that offers products that tend to be almost diagnostic in nature and treat specific issues. The cosmetic pedicure can be considered fluff by some because it generally targets only dry skin through scrubs, masques, oils, and lotions.


The important thing to remember when offering the medi pedi style of pedicure is to stay within your scope of practice. Even though some of the manufacturers opt to use marketing ploys on their packaging that tempt the client into believing you are diagnosing them, the key is to be very clear and concise in your verbiage to protect yourself and your licensure. While we are trained to recognize many nail and skin issues, we are not given free reign to offer a diagnosis or specific treatment.


It is acceptable to offer a course of action for healthy foot care with recommendations to a podiatrist when the need arises. Having a wide variety of products to choose for the bet results in the pedicure can be helpful if you are catering to a specific demographic of clientele. There are many ways to word caring for damaged skin, dry skin, etc. without claiming to diagnosis or treat certain issue. You are the foot first responder!

A cosmetic pedicure is a powerful tool in keeping the skin healthy, the nails trimmed regularly, and eyes on the feet for any issues that could arise while the client feels pampered and relaxed. Not everyone wants to feel like their visit to the salon is a treatment of sorts. Self-care takes a different vibe for each individual and different offerings at diverse salons with an experiential variance gives consumers options! If you go the cosmetic route, highlight the benefits of the products by creating an almost ritualistic experience surrounding them. This also allows you to retail the products for home care without fear the client will want to give up the involvement of the in salon pedicure.


Whichever style of pedicure suits your clientele, style, salon, and personal preference, the key is knowledge of your products and education of your clients. It’s not just a service, it is a significant option people have to ensure their feet stay in good health and can serve them well for a lifetime!

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