A day at the nail salon for a manicure and pedicure is supposed to be a nice relaxing time. Being pampered and prettied and taken care of. You look around and it seems clean enough, no trash on the tables, everything put away. The customer that went right before you looks plenty happy. So after a quick wipe down on the tub and a trip to the back to get her tools together, you manicurist calls you over and your ready for your turn.
Your in trouble already! Dirty foot spas and implements are the 2 major violations in nail salons. The drains and tubing inside the foot tubs get skin particles and bacteria inside of them.Simply a wipe down will not sufficiently clean the tub out. It needs to be filled all the way up and ran for several minutes with a sanitizing solution made for the job. It is better to wait for a clean tub than risk a nasty infection.
Most people also shave their legs prior to getting a pedicure. After all you don't want someone massaging your stubble. But shaving leaves tiny cuts which serve as perfect entrances for microscopic bacteria and fungus. Let alone diseases like Hepatitis and AIDS. So avoid shaving at least 24 hours prior to your pedicure.
Implements that use a razor blade to cut off callouses are not only dangerous, but illegal! Infections can be extremely dangerous from these type of implements and can spread quickly into the bone and leg and can even lead to limb loss and death.
Implements should be sterilized with a hospital grade autoclave. This takes time, not just a quick wipe down. If you see your manicurist use and implement and stick it back in her drawer with the other implements, she probably isn't cleaning them. Be aware of these little actions because it can mean your life and health could be at risk.
Files should be santizeable and washable.Wooden files and sticks are to be discarded after use.
All surfaces should be cleaned with a disinfectant solution before you sit down and your manicurist should wash his/her hands before touching you.
Alot of people choose to bring their own implements and files in when getting a manicure or pedicure so don't feel awkward or paranoid for doing so. It is a legitimate health risk and at any time you feel uncomfortable about the cleanliness of your nail salon, call your local board of health and inquire about any problems you may see occurring in the salon. You can also go online and check with the State Board Of Cosmetology in your state to see the rules and regulations of salon sanitation for your area.
Most salons are inspected less than once a year. It can be as long as 5 years between inspections in some areas who just simply do not have the manpower to inspect salons more frequently. Fines can be as low as $25 for a major violation that can cost you pain and suffering. Salons are rarely closed for violations and the majority of salons have major problems. So don't assume just because their salon license is valid, that it must be clean.
Take your own health into your own hands and don't be a victim of unsanitary nail salon practices. Take a minute and check out the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology rules and regulations (I live in Ohio but every state in the US should have similar sites.Here is a PDF file from the news section at the Ohio State Board Of Cosmetology that has a news article from FOX news showing some of the dangers that exist http://www.cos.ohio.gov/uploads/File/danger_lurks_in_dirty_salons.pdf