To pedicure or to medicure?

Thursday, 12 November 2015


If you enjoy a monthly pedicure, you’ll know what a major difference it makes to the condition of your feet. But have you ever considered a medicure? Loved by beauty fanatics across the world, medicures are becoming increasingly popular in SA.

Essentially, the difference between a pedicure and a medicure is as follows: A pedicure is a treatment that makes your feet and toes look prettier, whereas a medicure is a treatment that improves the health of your toes and feet. But how do you know which of the two you need? Here are some of the major differences:

1. When you have a pedicure done, your feet will be scrubbed, buffed, moisturised and massaged. Toenails and cuticles are shaped, and your nails are painted with a colour of your choice. During a medicure, the condition of your feet will be analysed, and you will be treated for ingrown toenails, calluses, fungal infections, signs of skin cancer, and any damaged or infected tissue will be removed. Your nails and cuticles will be treated and shaped, but there will be no sign of nail polish.

2. The tools used during a medicure are more advanced than those used during a pedicure, for example, an electric buffer is used, rather than a foot file. All tools are also completely sterile, just like a doctor’s.

3. Pedicures are performed by trained beauty therapists, while medicures are performed by therapists who have undergone advanced training in this field. If you’re uncertain, ask if your therapist is licensed to offer a medical pedicure. Medicures are also offered by medical professionals who specialise in feet, such as podiatrists. Medicures are also more expensive, due to the nature of the treatment.

4. During your pedicure, you will most likely be offered a drink of your choice, and you’ll be submitted to pretty décor and soothing music. Nine times out of ten, your medicure will be performed in an area that looks like a doctor’s room (it might even be a doctor’s room), and it will feel like a medical visit, rather than a pamper session.

5. If you have a medical problem like a nail infection, a pedicure could make it worse, or even spread the infection to other areas (germs travel in water, so if your feet are soaked in a tub, the bacteria could spread). Some therapists will also avoid performing a pedicure in this case. A medicure will help with the treatment of your condition, and will be done in such a way that infection is not spread.

The bottom line: Both pedicures and medicures have their place. You don’t always need your feet to be treated medically, nor do you want to ignore their health. We reckon a monthly pedicure and one or two annual medicures will ensure your feet are in a great condition.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Prep those footsies for summer
How to: Do your own pedi
Fix your feet
Cuticle oils we know you’ll love
Can my gel nails give me skin cancer?

Written by

Anien studied English and journalism before heading off into the world of beauty. An undercover "tree hugger" and fashion lover, she's usually found with her nose in a magazine. She has far too many bottles of nail polish and is completely lost without her lip balm. Anien on Google+

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  1. Salmaa Moosa

    Haven’t heard of this either! But does seem like something that should be done, and it will also be worth the money!

    4 years ago •

  1. kristenwepener

    I have actually never heard of a medicure, but it sounds so nice! I haven’t heard of a local place that does them, though! Will do some research.

    4 years ago •

  1. Sarah-Jane Van Heerden

    I would love to have a medicure done, never heard of it before but it sounds amazing,thanks for the good read!

    4 years ago •

  1. Sheethal Dajee

    Wow! Didn’t know there was such a thing as a medicure. Thanks for educating us.

    4 years ago •

  1. Chantelle Thompson

    I didn’t even know a medicure exists, sounds like something to consider

    4 years ago •

  1. Esme Van Jaarsveld

    WOW I had no idea, thank you for this info!

    4 years ago •

  1. Ray-Jessie Hendricks

    This is very informative. Its really good to know that pedicures are bad if you have infections.

    4 years ago •

  1. Mark Parr

    Wonderful information, never thought of the medicure. I only have my monthly pedicure so there is time for change.

    4 years ago •

  1. anisha

    Love this! We often neglect our feet and leave things until its too late. I give my feet a break from high heels during the week and its done wonders.

    4 years ago •

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