Things to know before your next manicure or pedicure
Today, manicures and pedicures are no longer considered a luxury. The industry is growing every year as demand for these services increases. There are risks of blood-borne infections such as hepatitis B, C and HIV, as well as bacterial and fungal infections if the tools used for manicures/pedicures are not handled properly.
Things to Look For
- Upon entering the salon/spa, does it appear to be clean? If the salon looks dirty, this may be an indication of poor hygiene and infection control practices.
- When having a manicure, the manicure station/table should be clean, and free of dust and any nail clippings.
- The personal service worker (PSW) should ask you to wash your hands fi rst to remove any dirt and oils and the PSW should also wash his or her hands. If you have a fungal infection, do not get a manicure or pedicure. Seek medical attention and have the infection treated.
- Nail files and buffers made from foam or wood fibres are “single use only.” They cannot be washed or disinfected and used on other clients. Make sure the PSW always uses a new file. Some PSWs will give you the file to take home and bring back the next time or they will just throw it away. Only glass and diamond files can be cleaned and disinfected and then re-used.
- All stainless steel clippers and nippers must be cleaned and disinfected between clients. If you see any nail or skin debris on these implements do not let them be used on your nails. This is how infections are spread from one client to another.
- When having a pedicure, avoid the use of a credo blade. This is an implement that holds a razor blade that is used on rough heels to remove calluses. These blades can cut too deep into your feet causing bleeding and potentially exposing you to infections. If a blade is used on your feet, ensure that it is a new blade. They are single use only and must be thrown out in a sharps container after each use.
- If a pedicure throne is being used, ask the PSW how it is cleaned and disinfected. The throne must be cleaned and disinfected between clients. Improperly cleaned thrones can spread serious infections from client to client. Avoid shaving your legs prior to using a pedicure throne as this may increase your risk of infection because the skin is more sensitive after shaving.
- Please note that bacterial and fungal infections can result from artificial nails. A bump or knock to an artificial nail may cause it to lift from the natural nail leaving an opening for “dirt” to get in.
For more information call the Infectious Disease Team of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.