Do I need a special permit to do medical pedicures?

December 29, 2013 | Bookmark +

I’m a manicurist. Do I need a special permit to do medical pedicures? I don’t want to work in a podiatrist’s office, but I would love to remove ingrown nails. What do you recommend?


There is no such thing as a medical pedicure in a salon setting. There is no permit or certification that will allow you to do a medical pedicure without you working for a podiatrist. A medical pedicure is the delivery of aesthetic routine foot care to high-risk patients by specially trained technicians under the direction of a physician.
Don’t call them medi-pedis unless you want to lose referrals from medical professionals or attract the attention of the state. Don’t use the word “medical” in your marketing unless you are telling the public you are referring to a medical professional. The treatment of an ingrown toenail should be done by a doctor in a doctor’s office. The management of an inverted toenail can be done easily using the correct filing and shaping technique focusing on the undersides of the sidewall of the nail. 

— Athena Elliott, MNT, is owner of SPAthena ( in Houston and a host of Nail Talk Radio.

<p>Athena Elliott</p>


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What’s the cause of the pinkish-red oval area on the pad of my client’s toes?

I have a client who has a recurring problem with her fourth toes during the winter months. Both of her “ring finger” toes develop a pinkish-red oval area on the pad. Then a month later, when I see her again, the skin has become dry and hard like a callus, with the layers of skin peeling away to reveal a deeper, dark epicenter.  It’s extremely painful for her and, needless to say, we do not touch it. But it clears up in the summer when she’s wearing open-toed sandals, so I suspect it has to be due to the boots she wears in the winter. Plus she never puts lotion on her feet or uses a foot file in between visits. What do you think causes this?

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What are the big white spots on my natural-nail client’s nails?

I have a client who has been with me for about two years. She used to wear acrylic nails but has been a natural nail client for eight months or so. She has these white spots on her nails — big spots that are dry, but not flaky, right in the middle of the nail. I did try to buff them lightly but they do not come off or grow off. I had a new client come in last week who had the same on her toenails. She said it started after she had a pedicure done at another salon. Can you help?

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