A Podiatrist gets a pedicure

As the director of the Podiatric Clinic of New York University Downtown Hospital, Johanna Youner knows the perils of pedicures. “I’ve treated women who have lost toenails from infections,” she says. Allure sent the doctor under cover to the Avon Centre, which offers – at $46 a pop – one of the priciest pedicures in Manhattan. Pedicurist Emma Zubatov first sanitized her hands with Bio-Tech, a hospital-quality cleanser, and an assistant brought over professional tools (“They could have come right out of my office,” Youner says) in a container of cold sterilizer. Youner was also impressed that Zubatov took pains to file the white flakes from her toenails. “When you’re constantly applying and removing polish, the top layer of the nail becomes damaged,” the doctor explains. And after rubbing oil into the cuticles and pushing them back. Zubatov trimmed them. “Yes, cutting cuticles can lead to infections, but mine grow a lot.” says Youner. “It should never be done without asking first, and the cuticles should be treated with an antibacterial solution afterward.” So when Zubatov spritzed an antifungal solution on Youner’s feet, the doctor considered it “a good touch. If the skin is dirty, fungus can get into the nail.” Finally Zubatov gently pumiced Youner’s heels and soles before massaging them with peppermint lotion. “Her handling of the feet was probably the best I’ve ever had,” Youner says. – Suna Chang

Park Avenue Podiatry Center