Why Do My Toes Itch After A Pedicure? Expert Pedicure Tips

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Pedicures are a great way to make your toes look better. You can add any color that you want plus you can have your toenails cleaned and pampered. However, there is one side effect that you might feel and that is itchiness.

Are you one of those people scratching away, wondering “why do my toes itch after a pedicure?

Itch is a common effect of having a pedicure and there are several reasons why this happens, including pH imbalance, allergy, and fungal infection.

I’ve surveyed the experts and gotten their explanations on the causes of foot itch after a pedicure, and what to do if your toes itch after a pedi.


Meet the Experts

Why Do My Toes Itch After A Pedicure?

Have you ever had a pedicure in a salon, went home, and found your toes itchy? It can be an alarming experience especially if you don’t know what is causing the itch.

There are a few reasons why your toes can feel itchy after having a pedicure, and they are as follows:

1. A Fungal Infection

As Dr. Sondema N. Tarr tells us, a fungal infection — athlete’s foot — is likely to be the culprit.

She explains that “it is possible that toes itching after a pedicure, especially one done in a salon could be due to a fungal infection, specifically Athlete’s Foot. This infection is highly contagious and can be spread through instruments that are not autoclaved (put in a special machine to kill all bacteria, viruses, and fungi on them) or in foot spas.”

Salons should be hygienic… but sometimes they might not be. That’s the reason why you could have itchy toes when you just had a pedicure is because of a newly-acquired fungal infection. 

Salons should be hygienic… but sometimes they might not be.

Perhaps the salon failed to properly clean and sanitize the tools they use, or they used some poor technique.

Depending on the techniques used, some salons may cut the cuticles, while others just push them. Cutting the cuticles could potentially cause an open area where bacteria could get introduced, especially if the procedure isn’t hygienic. 

The different tools that are used for the pedicure should always be completely disinfected or swapped in between clients to ensure the infection isn’t spread through the spa. However, that isn’t the case for some salons, though it should be.

Dr. Tarr suggests you do your homework to make sure the salon properly cares for its clients. “To reduce the risk of contracting any kind of infection during a pedicure service, only visit salons that autoclave their instruments, or use disposable instruments with each and every customer.” 

Apart from itchiness, there could also be swelling, redness, and an unusual odor that occurs when you’ve contracted an infection. 

2. Disruption Of Skin pH

One common cause of itch toes after a pedicure is because the pH of the skin has been disrupted. The skin has a natural pH level that is important when it comes to skin health. 

When you go for a pedicure, your toes are exposed to various chemicals and liquids like water,  nail polish remover, soap, foot scrub, and others.

These are mostly alkaline ingredients, which can throw off the pH balance of the skin. High levels of corrosive alkaline liquids on the skin will disrupt the natural acidic pH of the skin.

Sometimes, the pedicure also comes with the removal of the calluses on your feet. When these are removed with a pumice stone, they may produce an itchy or burning sensation.

3. Allergy To Products Used

Another reason why your toes might be feeling itchy after you have a pedicure is that you are allergic to the products used during the pedicure.

As Nadzeya Sankovich from HealthReporter explains, “There are chances that the person has got a reaction to the nail polish, or some other products that were used.”

If it is your first time using the new product and you developed itchy toes, then an allergic reaction to the polish, glue, or gel may be the culprit. 

If it is your first time using the new product and you developed itchy toes, then an allergic reaction to the polish, glue, or gel may be the culprit. 

Your allergy could be due to the nail polishes used or the treatment products that were used during the procedure. 

Nadzeya Sankovich points out that “ingrown toenails and fungal infections lead to itchy and discomforting feelings.” Pay attention to those before you go to your pedicure, and inform your pedicurist of any issues.

How To Avoid Feet Itch After A Pedicure

Although itchy feet and toes are not usually a serious problem, it is best to avoid them. There is still discomfort in the itchiness and it could just be the start of a bigger problem. If itch persists or gets significant, and you should visit your doctor.

In order to avoid itchy feet and toes after the pedicure process, here are a few tips:. 

1. Carefully Select The Nail Salon

When getting a pedicure at a nail salon. It is important to select a salon that isn’t only skillful when it comes to pedicures but also those practices proper hygiene. 

The tools used need to be sanitized between clients. Additionally, there are some tools and products that shouldn’t be reused. In that way, the risk of potential infections is reduced. 

Furthermore, aside from the tools and products used, they should also keep their area of work clean and hygienic. This will help lessen the risk of infection. 

Another reason to properly select the nail salon to get the pedicure service is to make sure that the nail technicians know what they are doing. It lessens the risk of accidentally creating an open wound when they are removing the calluses or when they are cutting the cuticles. 

2. Do A Patch Test

If you are going to use new products, it would be best to do a patch test first before your pedicure. A patch test will help determine if you are allergic to the new products. 

To do a patch test, you simply have to put a small amount of the product on your skin such as the inside of your arm. Wait for 24 hours to see if there are any adverse reactions to the products. 

How to Stop Your Feet From Itching After a Pedicure

If you just had a pedicure and are experiencing an itchy sensation, these are some of the things that you can do. 

1. Soak Your Feet In Warm Water

If the callus remover or other liquids used while getting a pedicure are the culprit, simply remove the remaining substances on your feet by soaking them in warm water. 

Sometimes, your feet may not be rinsed off completely or properly, which is why it itches. After soaking your feet in warm water, you can scrub off the area where it feels itchy. 

If the itchiness feels like a burning sensation, then the exposure to the callous remover might be too great. Avoid scrubbing the area because it can hurt due to the exposed skin. Instead, you can fill a spray bottle with warm water and use it constantly in the area. 

2 Apply Moisturizing Lotion

Sometimes, the itchiness can easily be remedied by using a moisturizing lotion. This will help your skin calm down. You can also use body butter or foot creams to soothe the skin on your feet. 

3. Use A Cold Compress

A cold compress is also a good way to relieve the itchiness. To do this, you can wrap your feet with a towel and add a few ice cubes to them. 

Alternatively, you can also use cold water to soak a washcloth. Wring the washcloth out and then apply it on the areas of the feet or toes that are itchy. 

4. Use Creams

Another remedy is to use  anti-itch creams   or hydrocortisone cream that helps relieve the itchiness. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).