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What Is a Medical Pedicure? (And Do You Need One?)

It’s different from what you’d get at a salon.


Pedicures are pretty straightforward: visit salon, get toenails buffed and painted, leave salon. It’s a fun treat that makes more than your feet feel beautiful. Recently, though, a new kind of pedicure has been getting attention. Medical pedicures are a type of pedicure that focus on foot health. So, should you swap your regular pedi for a medi-pedi? Read on to learn more about medical pedicures and whether they’re right for you.  

What is a medical pedicure?

Admittedly, “medical pedicure” does not sound fun. It reads cold, clinical, and void of the self-care connotations a traditional pedicure calls to mind. Better perhaps, is its abbreviated version — “medi-pedi” — which sounds a little more fun. Marcela Correa, a medical pedicurist at Medi-Pedi NYC, defines medi-pedis as “the bridge between podiatry and nail care.” Where a regular pedicure is typically one-size-fits-all, medical pedicures are tailored to specific foot issues, and they don’t involve soaking the feet. Equipment is sterilized, which isn’t always the case at salons, and appointments take place at a podiatrist’s office or studio specializing in medical pedicures. Most appointments last 45 minutes to an hour and may include any of the following:

  • Assessment of the feet and toenails, pointing out specific issues to be addressed
  • Cleaning of feet and toenails
  • Buffing and shaping toenails
  • Removal of dead skin
  • Removal of imperfections like blisters, calluses, and ingrown toenails
  • Smoothing the heels

You’ll leave a medical pedicure with smoother, cleaner feet. If you experience foot pain, this pedicure may alleviate it.

Why should you get one?

Medical pedicures aren’t solely (pun intended) about making feet beautiful, but they do leave the feet feeling and looking refreshed. They are particularly well-suited for those with toenail fungus, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, calluses, nail discoloration, and other common foot problems. If you walk a lot, a medical pedicure may provide relief from resulting aches and pains. Medi-Pedi NYC says the procedure can also be beneficial for those with diabetes or arthritis, as well as runners, people who are on their feet all day for work, and women who frequently wear high heels.

Related: New Pedicure Trend Leaves Out *This* Key Ingredient: Nail Pros Reveal Why That’s a Good Thing

How much does a medical pedicure cost?

Medical pedicures can cost up to $200. If you’ve been experiencing foot pain or feel self-conscious about the condition of your feet, this might be a worthwhile splurge. Check, too, with your insurance to see if the procedure is partially or fully covered, which is a possibility if it’s conducted in a medical facility.

How often should I get a medical pedicure?

Correa recommends patients get a medi-pedi every six to eight weeks. However, even a single medical pedicure could yield tangible results. While it’s easy enough to paint your nails at home, there’s no way to replicate a medical pedicure and all of its attendant equipment and expertise. If your feet are looking and feeling less than stellar and you want to give them a boost before sandal season, a medical pedicure could be a smart choice. 

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