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Manicure vs. Pedicure: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 17, 2023
A manicure involves the care and treatment of hands and fingernails, while a pedicure focuses on the feet and toenails.

Key Differences

A manicure typically addresses the needs of the hands and fingernails. It encompasses various treatments, such as filing, shaping, and often painting of the nails. Conversely, a pedicure specifically focuses on the care of the feet and toenails, ensuring they are clean, shaped, and often adorned with polish.
Manicures often serve as a therapeutic means to enhance the appearance and health of the hands and nails. On the flip side, a pedicure not only beautifies but also addresses foot ailments, such as calluses and dry skin, to ensure the feet are healthy and presentable.
In a manicure session, one can expect treatments like cuticle care, moisturizing the hands, and perhaps a hand massage. In contrast, a pedicure often involves soaking the feet in warm water, exfoliating, and sometimes a relaxing foot massage, beyond just toenail care.
Nail polish application is common in both manicures and pedicures. However, while manicures deal with often visible and frequently noticed hands, pedicures cater to feet, which might be hidden but endure significant daily stress and deserve equal care.

Comparison Chart

Body Part

Hands and fingernails.
Feet and toenails.

Common Treatments

Filing, shaping, cuticle care, polish application.
Soaking, exfoliating, callus removal, polish application.


Enhance the appearance and health of hands/nails.
Address foot ailments and beautify feet/nails.

Massage Region

Often includes a hand massage.
Often includes a foot massage.


Frequently opted for visible hands.
Essential for summer or open-toed shoes.

Manicure and Pedicure Definitions


The process of shaping and often painting fingernails.
The manicure gave her nails a polished look.


The act of addressing foot concerns while beautifying toenails.
Her pedicure removed all calluses and left a shiny polish.


A session of hand pampering and nail enhancement.
A manicure often includes a relaxing hand massage.


A session focused on foot care and toenail embellishment.
A pedicure often concludes with a soothing foot massage.


A cosmetic treatment of hands and fingernails.
She got a manicure before the party.


A beauty procedure centered on foot aesthetics and health.
A monthly pedicure can prevent many foot-related issues.


The act of cleaning, filing, and beautifying the nails.
Her manicure was complemented by a shiny nail polish.


The process of exfoliating, cleaning, and decorating toenails.
The pedicure left her feet feeling rejuvenated.


A beauty routine focused on hand and nail aesthetics.
A manicure can instantly boost one's confidence.


Cosmetic care of the feet and toenails.


A cosmetic treatment of the fingernails, including shaping and polishing.


A cosmetic treatment of the feet and toenails.


To trim, clean, and polish (the fingernails).


What does a pedicure involve?

A pedicure involves the care and beautification of the feet and toenails.

Is a pedicure just about nail polish?

No, a pedicure addresses foot health, exfoliation, and sometimes includes massages.

How long does a typical manicure last?

A manicure can last 1-2 weeks, depending on nail growth and care.

Can men get manicures?

Absolutely, manicures are for anyone wanting neat and cared-for hands.

Should I remove old nail polish before a manicure?

While not essential, removing it can save time during the manicure.

What's the main purpose of a manicure?

The manicure aims to enhance the appearance and health of hands and nails.

Are there health benefits to a manicure?

Beyond aesthetics, manicures can promote better nail health and circulation.

Is there an age limit for pedicures?

No, pedicures are suitable for all ages with the right precautions.

Are pedicures safe during pregnancy?

Yes, with proper precautions and ensuring a well-ventilated space, pedicures are safe.

Can a pedicure help with foot odor?

Pedicures can aid in cleanliness, but persistent odor may need other interventions.

What is a manicure?

A manicure is a cosmetic treatment of hands and fingernails.

How often should one get a pedicure?

It varies, but many opt for a pedicure every 4-6 weeks.

What tools are used in a manicure?

Common tools include nail clippers, files, cuticle pushers, and brushes.

Do manicures help nail growth?

While manicures maintain nails, growth is influenced by genetics and health.

Can manicures harm my nails?

If done correctly and safely, manicures should not harm nails.

Can I walk immediately after a pedicure?

Yes, but it's best to wear open-toed shoes to avoid smudging fresh polish.

How can I make my manicure last longer?

Avoid using nails as tools and wear gloves when cleaning to prolong a manicure.

Is it normal for my feet to tingle after a pedicure?

Some may experience tingling due to scrubs or massages, but discomfort should be addressed.

Can pedicures help with foot pain?

While not medical treatments, pedicures can alleviate some minor foot discomforts.

Why do people soak feet during a pedicure?

Soaking softens the skin and aids in exfoliation and relaxation during a pedicure.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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