Warning: Just to let you know, if you order an item through one of our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.
What could be more relaxing than a visit to the nail salon?
Well, pretty much everything, when you realize what’s going on behind the scenes.
To be fair, many manicurists and pedicurists run well-cleaned, wonderful shops – we certainly don’t want to belittle the profession as a whole. Every year Americans spend over $ 7 billion on nail services, and the vast majority leave happy.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind before heading to your next date. To begin…
1. There may be hidden charges.
Let’s start with one of the most obvious (and least dangerous) secrets. Manicurists tend to charge for the service, but they don’t always know what’s included for this one-time fee. For example, they may bill separately for a base layer, a nail reinforcement, and the Polish.
The only way to get around this trap is to start a conversation. Ask what’s included for the fees you pay. When the manicurist goes to work, if you’re not sure what she’s doing, ask her before you start. You have every right to refuse services or products that you don’t need – and for which you would rather not pay.
Remember, you can always bring your own favorite nail care products. When you walk into the salon and give the manicurist your favorite base layer and Polish, they will usually be happy to charge you just for the app. Again, make sure this is a conversation you are having before you start.
2. There is only one way to sterilize and your salon probably doesn’t use it.
You’ve read the horror stories of people getting terrible infections from contaminated tools in a nail salon. There is a simple reason why this happens: It is actually very difficult to completely sterilize what is essentially surgical equipment.
Surgeons use a machine called an autoclave to make sure they remove 100% of the fungi, bacteria, and viruses that can live on stainless steel tools. Autoclaves use a combination of pressure, heat and steam to sterilize equipment.
“It’s a specific device that sterilizes equipment by steam, making it hygienic and safe, as no chemicals or irritants are used,” says Debra Lindy, co-founder of Sani Sak, a company that produces disinfected manicure tools. “It is very rarely bought by nail salons because it can be too expensive.”
The problem with this is that only Iowa and Texas have laws on the books that require nail salons to disinfect equipment with autoclaves. In the rest of the country, manicurists typically use chemicals or UV light boxes to sterilize their tools.
Hey, UV light is better than nothing, right? Well, yes, but although these instruments can eliminate most of the infectious organisms that live Nail clipper, they are not 100% effective.
Be sure to ask your manicurist how they sterilize their equipment before you embark on a procedure. Many lounges will also allow customers to bring their own tools; although it may seem annoying at first, it can help prevent a painful infection.
Oh, and like that Answers that the user underlinesIt is also not a bad idea to call your local health department if you are particularly curious about salon practices.
3. The UV lamps they use to dry your polish can increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Granted, the risk of developing melanoma from drying your nail polish under a UV lamp is quite low, but it does exist. Perhaps more importantly, cell damage can build up over time.
“Given the low exposure to UV-A energy during an average manicurist visit, several visits would be required to reach the threshold for potential DNA damage,” wrote a team of researchers from Georgia Regents University, in a study published in JAMA Dermatology. The researchers also noted that typical exposure wouldn’t be enough to cause DNA damage, but clients who get regular manicures or pedicures could be at risk.
In addition, the researchers found that there are no good standards for manufacturers of UV nail lamps. Chris Adigun, MD, certified dermatologist, Told CBS News why this lack of regulation is dangerous.
There is little to no regulation on the manufacture of these nail lamps, ”Adigun said. “As a result, the bulbs, wattage, and irradiance of these lamps vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer, and people who use these lamps in living rooms have no way of knowing how bad their skin is. exposed to UV at each manicure. “
4. Nail technicians are not necessarily trained to properly sterilize their equipment.
Podiatrist Robert Spalding, DPM, has the hairdressing industry firmly in its sights. As the author of Death by pedicure, Spalding is a leading voice on the dangers of contemporary nail salon practices.
Spalding argues that technicians simply don’t have the training to verify that the tools are safe to use. There is “industry-wide confusion over the definition of the term ‘sterilize’,” Spalding wrote.
Nail technicians are “neither educated nor licensed to work in the presence of blood or to maintain a surgically sterile environment,” he wrote. In other words, it’s not exactly their fault that they are working on clients with infected tools. Rather, it is a lack of understanding of what constitutes true sterilization.
“With years of experience as a nail technician, I cannot say that I am convinced that everyone is trained to handle situations that may involve blood or sterile environments,” says Lindy.
As we mentioned, only an autoclave can completely sterilize the equipment. Anything below this gold standard of sterilization could leave some microorganisms behind. This is how people get infections. The point is that “some infectious microorganisms are easy to kill, others are not,” according to Spalding.
5. There are even cases of clients having warts in some nail salons!
Forget about fungal infections. How would you like to fight warts on your feet after an unclean pedicure?
The uncomfortable truth is that warts are often caused by a viral infection. If the equipment and environment of a nail salon does not meet the highest standards of cleanliness, wart viruses may be present. All that separates you from a lifetime of bumpy feet is the slipping of the technician’s hand – if you catch a wart virus in an open sore, you’ll likely end up with the infection.
It’s not even the worst. Serious viral infections, including HIV and hepatitis C, can also lurk in dirty nail salons. Make sure you go to a high quality and trusted facility, preferably with an autoclave. We’re not saying every nail salon is a hive of infections, but use common sense and stick with a salon you trust.
6. If your pedicure offers to “shave” your calluses, say “no thanks”.
We understand the temptation. Calluses aren’t the most attractive thing on the human body, and they can even be a bit painful. But remember, these are there to protect your skin – essentially, your body developed them for a reason.
This is not the only reason for refusing an offer to shave your calluses, however. The point is, the procedure is probably illegal in your state.
You see, shaving calluses requires a tool called creed blade. Technically, creed blades can only be used in “medical procedures,” which most states prohibit from being performed in nail salons.
Instead of trying to completely lose calluses, podiatrists recommend smoothing them out with a little light pumice treatment. There is a chance your nail salon will offer this service, but remember that pumice stones are notoriously difficult to disinfect. You may want to travel with yours.
7. Have you shaved your legs recently? If so, avoid the salon.
If you’ve picked one thing from this list, hopefully breaking the skin in a non-sterile environment is a great way to get a nasty infection. It’s true whether you have a cut on your cuticle or a small opening on an ankle hair follicle.
When you shave your legs, you create tiny invisible openings in your hair follicles. These little holes might be too small for us to see, but for viruses, bacteria, and fungi, they’re like huge, inviting arches. They are essentially an invitation to move in and settle down.
Jackie Sutera, DPM, podiatrist based in New York, Told HuffPost that you must wait at least two days between shaving your legs and going to the salon for a pedicure. Otherwise, Sutera said, “you can literally end up in the hospital.”
8. It is up to you to protect your health and safety in a nail salon.
No nail tech wants to make a customer sick. However, salons are above all capitalist enterprises. Homeowners want to make as much money as possible, and that doesn’t create a strong incentive to turn clients away, even if they have a clear fungal infection and shouldn’t be near a nail salon.
“Because the industry isn’t regulated often enough, salon technicians often get slack,” says Lindy. “… It doesn’t take much to spread a contagious infection or spread bacteria. A careless technician can transfer [microorganisms] to all the tools in the salon, especially if they all use the same disinfectant and the bacteria are resistant ”
The danger, Spalding wrote, is “the transmission of infection from one client to another.”
In other words, be on the lookout and, for heaven’s sake, if you have a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection yourself, don’t go to the nail salon. Beauty can wait. After all, what is beauty without health?