Chloe Randall

Pedicures: How to consult & refer your clients

By Chloe Randall | 30 April 2021 | Expert Advice, Feature

Pedicure Arthritis

When clients come to the salon with foot ailments, a pedicure treatment may not always be the answer. A pedicure will improve the appearance of the foot and the toenails. However, there may be situations when referral to a foot health practitioner or podiatrist is required, as the condition may need to be medically treated.

“For people who have specific foot-related concerns, it is so important to see a qualified podiatrist,” states Margaret Dabbs, founder of Margaret Dabbs London. “They will be able to give bespoke treatments and advice that simply isn’t available during a beauty treatment. Standard pedicures undertaken in beauty salons are cosmetic treatments, which do not take into account individual foot health.”



Prior to the pedicure treatment taking place, a consultation should be carried out with the client to discuss any problems with their feet, their medical history, lifestyle and any allergies. As well as a discussion, it is also best to examine the client’s feet for any cause of concern before continuing with any treatment.

To make the client feel more comfortable during the consultation period, it may be best to ask them to fill out a form.


“A contraindication is defined as a medical condition which may restrict or prevent a pedicure treatment from being carried out,” states Lucy Sharman, Elim pedi pro.

Examples of this may include;

· A fungal nail infection.

· Bacterial nail & skin infections, such as ringworm of the nail, athletes foot & impetigo, severe eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis.

· Open wounds, cuts & abrasions, onycholysis (severe nail plate separation) and severe bruising.


If you spot something you think you are unable to treat, the client should be referred to a foot health practitioner.

“We are not doctors; we can’t diagnose but we should know when to refer to a GP or a podiatry clinic,” states Belinda Price, OPI education and capability manager.

“Be diplomatic, quietly express your concerns away from other staff or customers. Also make the necessary recommendation or alteration to the appointment. For example, suggest they can have a manicure instead. I would recommend having a ‘best to get it checked out’ approach with the client without alarming them.”