Nail salon no-nos

By • Published: March 17th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

If your spring break plans include a trip to the salon, be sure to keep an eye out for health hazards that could leave you feeling under the weather… particularly if you’re getting your nails done.

Salons are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs if work areas and tools are not properly cleaned. Follow these tips to make sure your nail appointments don’t turn nasty:

The most obvious health hazard is the bubbling tub of water you soak your feet in during a pedicure. If not properly cleaned, the basin and pipes can harbor harmful bacteria, exposing you to germs that cause warts, sores and fungal infections. Watch to see if tubs and tools are disinfected between customers and if technicians wash their hands.

Tools that cannot be sterilized… such as buffers, brushes and emery boards… should be discarded between clients.

You should also skip shaving your legs on the day you get a pedicure. Tiny scratches in your skin could let germs sneak in, causing infection.

Another way to stay free of infections is to ask the technician not to trim your cuticles. These little pieces of skin act as shields, preventing water and germs from getting underneath your nails.

If your body is fighting a major illness, it’s best to avoid in-salon manicures and pedicures altogether. A weakened immune system means you will be more vulnerable to infections. Instead, splurge on nail care products from a beauty store and pamper yourself at home.