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Differences Between Pedicures in Nail Salons, Hotel/Spas & Podiatrist in Hong Kong (Asia)

As a podiatrist, someone in the medical profession in the spa industry, working alongside with nail therapists, I meet various clients with different needs for their feet. Because there are three different entities in one location where I work, I have noticed many people who are not sure who to consult with about their feet issues.

Let's break down the etymology of the word Pedicure: Ped or Pes, which means "Foot" and Curare means "to Care for".

There are three categories of Pedicure in Hong Kong:

1. Medical Pedicure

A Medical Pedicure is usually done by Pedicurists, Chiropodists or Podiatrists. Podiatrists are using sterilised tools and have a knowledge on the foot anatomy and biomechanics, in order to improve the foot condition.


- Treatments are done by trained specialists

- Solve most of the foot issues such as Ingrown Toe Nails, Calluses / Corn / Dead Skin, Fungus, Verruca (Wart), Nails Discolouration

- Procedures are done dry or waterless, which is more precise

- Good hygiene etiquette as tools are sterilised


- Can be too clinical for small nails, skin or general foot problem such as dry cuticles

- No aesthetics

- More costly than spa treatment

2. Shanghainese Pedicure

The Shanghainese Pedicure is a type of pedicure well known in Hong Kong. Fun fact: Bruce Lee enquired for Shanghainese Pedicure regularly because his career demanded a lot of footwork. Special blades are used to remove calluses.


- Historical Pedicure from China therefore many local therapists have experience in this type of treatment

- Good technique and require a great dexterity from specialists

- Popular and found in day spas, luxury spas and men's spas


- Wet pedicure procedure therefore if not done properly, this can remove too much dead skins

- Cutting nails with the blades are not the most efficient way of maintaining nail health.

3. Pedicure in Spas & Nails Salon

Pedicure in Spas & Nails Salon is the most popular type of pedicure in Hong Kong. Usually located in the Spas of luxury hotels or in day spas, most of the time this is "wet" pedicure and with traditional nail polish or gel nail finishing.


- Most common Pedicure in Asia and Hong Kong, lots of Aesthetics Schools are training the therapists for this method of Mani-Pedi

- Services are excellent, extra perks such as enjoying a glass of Champagne or a healthy tea

- Additional services on top of pedicure includes scrub, paraffin, nail polish application or Gel Nails

- Less costly type of Pedicure


- Wet Pedicure procedure therefore if not done properly, this can remove too much dead skins.

Using pumice stones or foot file aren't precise and can damage the collagen of the skin if used too deep.

- Cuticles are most of the time pushed or cut too much. We need cuticles as it's a protective barrier against bacteria and germs to penetrate through. By pushing them, it's break this protection and can create infections at the base of the nail.

If you need any further information or have questions do not hesitate to contact me directly.



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