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Selecting a nail salon

Paula Abdul, the judge on American Idol and former singer, suffered a nail infection that affected her health for years. How did she get it? In a nail salon while having manicures and pedicures. Continues below...    



Paula Abdul is not the only victim of nail infections. Infections are a risk in any type of treatment in a spa. Nail infections are easier to spread since part of the skin is cut during manicures and pedicures (the cuticle) and the same instruments are used on many customers. The infections can be herpes and others; some of them can attack the immune system for months and years. For this reason, it is important to be careful. These are some things to keep in mind:

1- If you have an immune system deficiency, be particularly careful. You should avoid cutting your cuticles. You can have manicures and pedicures, but without cutting the cuticle.

2- The salon has to have a way to sterilize the instruments used during the manicure such as the nippers. Ask about it. Usually the best equipment is the same as that used in dental offices; it is a small container with tiny metal balls. The instruments need to be put inside for a few minutes only after every use.

3- Another piece to sterilize equipment is a box with a frontal opening and ultra violet light inside. This is a cheaper instrument and it can be effective if combined with a germicide. The instruments need to be there for a few minutes after every use.

4- There are many other types of sterilizers and usually they are visible to the customers. Ask in the salon how they sterilize the tools.

5- Watch out if you see that your manicurist only wipes out her tools and puts them back on her table. Some technicians put alcohol or something similar; this is not enough.

6- Your manicurist should get a fresh set of clean, sterile tools to do your manicure.

7- In many bargain salons, as well as in many well-respected and pricey spas, these rules are not observed because time is money and the technicians do not have the time or education to clean the tools. If you go to a salon at peak time, you are more likely to be exposed to improperly cleaned tools.

8- Bringing your own tools used to be advisable, but if you do not clean your tools the right way, you are still at risk. So unless you know what you are doing, it is best to pick the right salon that takes hygiene seriously.

9- What can you do to protect yourself? Avoid cutting the cuticles.

10- If the salon does not look clean or the prices are too good to be true, the tools probably will not be clean.

A bargain nail salon could be very expensive in the long run if you get infected.


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