Protecting Yourself At The Nail Salon
Pampering yourself at the nail salon is a ritual for many women during the summer months. However, there are many hidden dangers lurking at the nail salon and it is important to take the proper precautions to keep yourself healthy and safe when receiving a manicure or pedicure.
While most manicure salons follow strict health and safety guidelines, some do not take the necessary precautions needed to protect consumers well being. In the unfortunate event that a salon does not take the necessary sanitary precautions, consumers are put at a greater risk for skin infections and other harmful diseases including:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Fungal infections such as athlete's foot and nail fungus
- Bacterial infections such as psuedomonas, staphylococcus, and streptococcus
Most of these infections are preventable by sanitizing instruments correctly and properly cleaning footbaths and areas used for nail services.
In addition, some manicure salons use a dangerous and potentially harmful chemical, methyl methacrylate, or MMA, in the application of artificial nails. This substance is often used because it is much cheaper than its safer alternate, ethyl methacrylate. MMA can cause pain, pressure, numbness on the natural nail, and respiratory discomfort. In severe cases, MMA can cause permanent nail and nerve damage.
While you may never be 100% safe from infection when receiving a manicure or pedicure, there are many precautions consumers can take to protect themselves. These include:
- Bringing your own tools including nail clipper, emery boards, curette, cuticle remover.
- If you do not bring your own manicure tools, make sure nail files/ emery boards are thrown out after each use, tools are being properly using sanitizing machines, and washed using hot, soapy water.
- Making sure the nail technician washes their hands before and after a manicure or pedicure. This prevents against infection, as well as transmitting such illnesses as the common cold/flu.
- Never allow a nail technician to use razor blades (commonly known as "credo blades") or cuticle clipper during a manicure or pedicure. This increases the risk of infection as well as the transmission of blood borne illnesses.
- Do not shave your legs the same day as your pedicure, as your hair follicles are open and more prone to cuts and injuries.
- We recommend utlilizing an anti-fungal nail lacquer between the nail and nail polish to prevent any fungal growth.
TO HELP ENSURE THAT YOU ARE PROTECTED, OC Foot & Ankle Associates is now offering the Dr. Carolyn's Saavy Nail Kit packaged in a designer purse consisting of all the tools you need to ensure a relaxing, yet safe and clean pedicure/manicure. We encourage you to wipe clean the tools after every pedicure with alcohol and wash with disinfecting solution every three months. We offer autoclave sterilization at a nominal fee. Please call our office for details and prices on the Nail Kit.
If you suspect a manicure salon is not following strict health and safety guidelines, you are urged to file a complaint with the Division of Professional Licensure who will investigate your claims. Also if you sense a problem with please contact your doctor or emergency room. You can also search for a licensed manicure salon online by using the Cosmetology and Shops Board's check a license feature.