Beauty treatments can hide a mine field of potentially damaging problems to the unsuspecting client, and at the end of the day it’s the Beauty Therapist’s responsibility to protect the client by ensuring the treatment booked is suitable.

We use record cards in salon treatments for several reasons such as keeping clients’ address and phone details and record of past treatments. The most important reason for these record cards is the attachment of a medical questionnaire that they have filled in prior to any treatments commencing, no matter how small those treatments are.

This questionnaire should be re-visited whenever a client books a different treatment.

Here is a brief overview of some of the more common contraindications to treatments that you may come across on a weekly basis in a busy salon or spa.

This list could be in a book form as there are so many variations depending on products used or the client’s individual needs.

A contra indication is something that you can see or that the client tells you about during consultation that prevents the client from being able to have the treatment. Treating a client with a contra indication could put your client at risk and will make your insurance invalid.

If you notice something on the client that Contra Indicates the treatment that the client has not mentioned during consultation, then you must cease treating them and explain why. However, it is important as beauty therapists that we do not make a diagnosis but instead ask the client to seek professional Care to rule it out as a contra indication before rebooking them back in.

A pedicure will be contra indicated if your client has any of the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Verruca’s
  • Athletes Foot
  • Impetigo
  • Warts
  • Ringworm
  • Inflammation, Swelling or Pus
  • Rashes

Due to poor healing quality of the skin, Diabetes is often a contra indication for pedicures as there is a risk of cutting or nipping the skin.


A verruca or plantar wart is a highly contagious and sore lump often found on the soles of the feet. Verruca’s are just warts however they represent themselves as flat as they are often trodden in. Treating a client with a verruca would cross contaminate your equipment, foot spa or towels and should be asked to seek treatment with a Doctor before returning for a Pedicure.

Athletes Foot

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection on the skin of the feet. Athlete’s foot can affect anyone and is not just those who play sports or wear trainers. Symptoms of athlete’s foot include dry skin, itching, burning, and redness. The symptoms are often present in the skin between the toes, where the infection usually starts. Blistering, peeling, cracking of the skin, and bleeding may occur. Sometimes the affected skin can appear white and wet on the surface. It is contagious and can be easily passed from client to client.


Impetigo is an acute contagious skin rash that is caused by staphylococcus aureus and by the group A streptococcus bacteria. It can affect any adult but more commonly occurs amongst infants and children. This type of skin infection usually starts as red itchy sores that can soon turn into oozing blisters. Impetigo may develop around the legs, arms, trunk, buttocks and face. Whilst not usually common on the feet, treating clients with Impetigo still puts your other clients at risk of cross contamination.


A wart is a small, rough, lump that grows on the top layer of skin. Warts often resemble a solid blister or a cauliflower and can be either very light or very dark in comparison to the normal skin colour. Warts are usually painless, but can sometimes cause itching and burning. Warts are caused by a viral infection called the human papillomavirus virus or HPV. The HPV is contagious and can be passed from person to person by either direct or indirect contact.


Ringworm is a term that is used to refer to skin infections that are caused by fungi called dermatophytes.  This condition is known as ringworm because it can leave a ring-like, red rash on the skin and it does not have anything to do with worms. Ringworm is contagious and it can be passed between people through skin contact and by sharing objects such as towels. Ringworm on the feet is commonly referred to as Athletes foot.

Inflammation, Swelling or Pus

If you notice any swelling on the area you are going to treat or an area of inflammation, then you must refer your client on to their GP. Clients that know why they have swelling for example if they sprained their ankle earlier that day should still be refused treatment until the area has healed.


Any area of skin that looks irritated or sore should not be treated. Ask the client to return when the rash has cleared up.


Diseased nails should never be treated by the manicurist and all manicurists should know what normal conditions or abnormal nail conditions are along with the cause, signs, and treatments. A client with nail disease should be referred to a doctor.

Nail Disease Indications:

  • Redness of the nails and hands
  • Soreness or tenderness