Is this the perfect pedi? Nail enthusiasts ditch local salons for medical pedicures.

November 10, 2023

When putting your best foot forward, your local mani-pedi salon may be a step behind. Women hoping for the perfect pedicure—and, perhaps, “Barbie feet”—are ditching their neighborhood nail spots and turning to an unlikely, less glamorous destination: med spas, reports the New York Post.

Rather than a simple soak, file, and paint, New York City beauty are instead opting for medical-grade foot services.

Medical pedicures have typically been a specialized health service for people who suffer from serious health issues such as diabetes and arthritis. However, the foot service—which typically costs $200—has gained the popularity of a younger crowd seeking the best pedicure of their lives.

Medi Pedi NYC in Midtown has seen a 75% uptick in younger customers—from 18 to 30—looking for rejuvenated feet.

“A lot of people were calling us and asking for availability,” Enajeona Carrero, an employee of Medi Pedi NYC, told the Post. “We were kinda confused but realized viral TikTok videos were the reason.”

The high demand pushed the medical spa to hire two additional nail technicians and expand its facility from three to five rooms to accommodate demand. Carrero said the viral videos have kept the med spa booked and busy, with some clients having to wait nearly four weeks to be seen for an appointment.

The TikTok-loving generation discovered the foot service when influencer Cat Quinn posted a TikTok review of her medical pedicure experience at Medi Pedi NYC, saying it helped her achieve the “perfect Barbie feet.”

A “medical pedicure” addresses issues such as athlete’s foot, corns, calluses, cracked heels, nail fungus, ingrown toenails, and nail discoloration. The non-invasive treatment bridges podiatry and basic nail care with a focus on assessing and treating foot issues.

Quinn’s now-viral clip with nearly 5 million views—not to mention, #medicalpedicure has over 160 million hits on TikTok—grabbed the attention of many Gen Zers, who were ready to book their appointments.

Medi Pedi NYC’s CEO Marcela Correa told the Post that she has applauded the uptick in younger clients since she advocates for anyone striving for healthy feet.

“It’s something that people get bullied for, so they don’t want to share their feet with anybody or be seen by anybody,” the licensed medical nail technician said. “People are always laughing about other people’s foot conditions and 90% of the time the condition is not even foot related.”

More people say they’re leaning toward the foot service at med spas over nail salons because medical pedicures are more keen on the details of the feet and nails. A medical pedicure’s process involves extensive cleaning, sanding, buffing, shaping of the nails and removing dead skin.

Correa encourages more people to keep up the appearance of their feet because sometimes it could be a warning sign of a more serious health condition such as heart disease or osteoporosis.

“Foot care is the most important part of your body,” she said. “If you take care of your mouth and you don’t take care of your feet, you’re not gonna smile with those teeth because your feet hurt.”

Finally, while Medi Pedi NYC is merely a medical spa, it often refers clients to podiatrists when the issues need special treatment.

Research contact: @nypost