A Florida woman says a pedicure derailed her life before her wedding when she was rushed to the hospital with a bad infection that required surgery. Do you make sure your nail salon is clean before you go in for a pedicure or any sort of service??
Here are 6 Red Flags That Your Nail Salon Isn't Hygenic Enough
1. First, do a visual cleanliness check.
Does the salon look spotless? It should. Clean surfaces are indicative of good hygiene practices overall. So no grime on countertops, no streaky mirrors, not even the tiniest stray nail clipping should be visible. Head into the ladies' room and make sure it looks nice and sanitary. You should also check the dates on magazine stacks, to see how often customer reading material gets tossed. Old magazines are a mecca for germs if lots of fingers are flipping through their pages.
2. Watch the technicians.
Are they wearing neat clothing? If your manicurist is wearing a stained uniform or apron, she's sending a pretty clear message that professional cleanliness is not a priority for her, which should make you wonder how clean and safe her tools and equipment are. (While you’re peeping, check out her storage tray—the tools inside should look totally clean, too.) Are the technicians very focused on their work, or do they look lax when it comes to thoroughly cleaning or properly filing a customer's nails? An alert technician is much less likely to do unhygienic work, or accidentally cut a customer mid-manicure.
3. Look out for safety signs.
Optimally, there should be posted safety rules regarding salon procedures that can be clearly seen by the salon staff.
4. Get the lowdown on those footbaths.
"Speak to the supervisor at the salon regarding what type of foot baths are used," says Pruthi. "A lot of micro organisms are lingering within the jets of the whirlpool. Pipe-free whirlpools are better." You can sometimes see the difference between pipe or pipe-free whirlpools yourself, too: A pipe-free system has what looks like a fan or propeller attached to it, while a whirlpool with pipes is surrounded by, well, pipes. Also, "find a facility that uses a liner in their foot bath and make sure that liner is changed in between each client," urges Pruthi.
5. Make sure tools are disposable—and disposed of.
In addition to the bubbly kind, there are non-whirlpool plastic foot basins that can easily be tossed between customers. Some salons still reuse things like metal files, so you want to request single-use files and buffers. It's totally OK to ask the technician to open a package in front of you to get your single-use tool out, too. Watch to make sure all disposable tools are thrown away immediately. (If they got tossed after they were used on you, chances are they got tossed after the person before you, as well.)
6. Ask about an autoclave.
When it comes to making sure non-disposable tools are safe, "disinfection and sterilization are not the same," explains Pruthi. An autoclave sterilization device, which is now available in better nail salons, is guaranteed to kill any bug and is much more effective than disinfecting solution (like that blue stuff you might see at a hair salon or barber shop), which doesn't kill all bacterial spores.
You can always take matter into your own hands by bringing your own instruments or by using these tips below...
Don't shave your legs for 24 hours before your treatment.
Even if you don’t think you nicked yourself, microscopic cuts can be easy entry points for infection.
Don't be afraid to voice your concerns.
If something doesn't look or feel right, voice your opinion to the salon owner—not only will you be protecting yourself, but other customers as well. Then find another salon. There are many great facilities out there that put their customers' health first.