As the temperatures rise, many women break out their sandals to show off their gorgeous feet. To get that pretty look, Americans spend not millions, but billions of dollars on pedicures.
But there's a downside: infections that are very painful and very unattractive. Ugly fungal infections that eat away at your nail can also get into the base of your nail.
There's also the risk of staph and MRSA infections -- not just on toes and feet, but on the legs.
"Any time you're working with the public, you're going to be dealing with communicable diseases and transference of bodily fluid and things like that," pedicure salon manager Valerie Mullen told CBN News.
Following a few basic rules will help ensure that your feet are both healthy and beautiful.
First, make sure the bowl your feet and legs will be in is not just rinsed, but disinfected and the filter cleaned after each customer.
Ask how much time is allotted between pedicures. It should be at least 10 minutes because that's how long it takes for pedicure disinfectants to really work.
If you're not sure whether the salon sanitizes well enough between clients, schedule your pedicure first thing in the morning when many salons are the cleanest.
A peek at the bathroom will also give you a clue as to the salon's standards of hygiene.
And take more than a peek at what the technicians do with their tools, which can transfer germs from one client to another.
"If you're going to get a pedicure or even a fingernail manicure, be sure the place you're going to sanitizes their instruments," dermatologist Dr. David Pariser said.
"It doesn't take very much to sanitize for fungus. A simple soak in an antiseptic or even dilute Clorox bleach is enough to kill almost all organisms that could cause problems," he explained.
Reusable metal tools should be cleaned after each customer, but files are impossible to sterilize, so make sure a brand new one is used for you.
Finally, if you're unsure whether the salon sterilizes its tools, there's nothing wrong with asking.