Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Though indulging in a spa sounds nice, all also have the potential to pose not-so-nice public health risks.

WebMD Feature

The Risks of Spa Treatments

Planning on treating yourself to a spa treatment? Before you plunge into a mineral bath, get kneaded like a ball of dough, or indulge in any of the other countless treatments available today, you should know the risks involved.

Sure, spas have been around a long time -- since ancient times, in fact, when Roman soldiers in a small Belgium village called Spa first discovered the soothing effects that hot mineral springs had on their aching bodies. Up to the turn of the 20th century, doctors from various cultures routinely sent patients to soak in baths they believed to have restorative powers. But most of the spas of today bear little resemblance to those first "curative" spas.

Yet today, operators of the 10,000 or so spas in the U.S. continue to tout the treatments' health benefits. While most of today's spas promise to restore, refresh, and renew -- and some offer even more explicit health claims -- they generally don't warn you of the potential risks involved. But they do exist. Certain spa treatments can worsen chronic and acute health conditions. All spas can pose risks to the general public, particularly when operated in a state of uncleanliness.

We talked to medical experts and public health officials to learn just what these health risks entail and how you can avoid them.

Chronic Conditions

Pedicures: Dangerous with DiabetesPeople with diabetes need to take extra precautions when getting foot treatments. "Any break in the skin, potentially from aggressive trimming of a callous or cuticle, can increase the risk of foot infections called cellulitis," says Sharon Horesh, MD, an internal medicine doctor with Emory University's department of medicine.

That's not the only reason for precaution.

You can't always tell how clean a spa's water or supplies are. But you can minimize your risk of becoming infected by contaminated water or supplies. "If you have diabetes and you have ulcerations on your feet, bring your own container of water for a pedicure," says Louise-Ann McNutt, PhD, an epidemiology professor at the University of Albany. She also suggests bringing your own equipment, from bucket to emery boards. "It puts you in charge of how clean the supplies are," she tells WebMD.

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices