Sterilization of instruments is important. (Getty Images via iStockphoto)

Podiatrists have these tips for preserving foot health during pedicure season:

●Ask how instruments are sterilized at your salon. An autoclave is unquestionably the safest method. Tools that are cleaned with a liquid disinfectant need to soak for at least 10 minutes to eliminate most bacteria and viruses.

●If you can, opt for a salon that uses glass or metal foot-bath bowls, since they are the easiest for pedicurists to keep clean.

●Consider bringing your own instruments to your nail salon.

●Because nail polish used on multiple people can harbor bacteria and fungus, consider bringing own polish for the pedicurist to apply. If you have health issues such as diabetes, poor circulation or an autoimmune deficiency, have your feet tended by a podiatrist. Use the salon for nail painting only.