So do you shave your legs before having a pedicure? I found this really interesting article from Brynn Mannino who explains the story that in 2000, 113 California women made the news after contracting Mycobacterium fortuitum —a bacterial infection caught via open wounds that results in purple, pus-filled bumps—from infested pedicure tubs. After some investigation, it was determined that all of the women had something in common: They had shaved their legs before their appointments, creating superficial nicks and wounds that left their skin susceptible to infection. While nail salons are required by law to rinse and disinfect their tubs with hospital-grade solution after every client, it’s a good idea to protect yourself by holding off on shaving until after your appointment. Infections aside, shaving also strips the legs of a thin layer of skin, increasing the chances of irritation caused by perfumed creams or exfoliating beads used by most salons. Nail technicians urge customers to delay shaving until after a pedicure, and insist there’s no reason to be self-conscious about prickly legs. One salon owner says, “I don’t even notice whether a client has smooth legs or not! My focus is on caring for the feet, not the legs.”

I must admit I do get a bit embarrassed about my hairy legs before a pedicure. But it is good to know now it doesn’t really matter and it is best to shave your legs after a pedicure.