A trip to the nail salon is usually associated with something positive, be it a special occasion or mid-week treat.
But while most establishments follow strict cleanliness and disinfection guidelines, others throw caution to the wind – putting you at risk for unsightly (not to mention painful) nail fungus, bacterial infections, plantar’s warts and more.
So what can you do to prevent a potential mani/pedi predicament?
First, look for the following when visiting a salon:
- Does your nail technician have the necessary experience and/or license, if required?
- Are the stations clean?
- Does the nail technician wash her hands between clients?
- Are there dirty tools lying around?
- How well do they clean their tools?
Next, consider the following advice from board-certified dermatologist Phoebe Rich, MD, FAAD, a clinical adjunct professor of dermatology at Oregon Health Science University in Portland:
- Wait to shave your lower legs until at least 24 hours after getting a pedicure
- Consider purchasing your own tools and bringing them with you to the salon
- Check that the pedicure foot baths and filters are thoroughly disinfected between uses
- Avoid reapplying the same color if nails have become yellowed and discolored from polish
- Steer clear of strengthening polishes, which may make nails more prone to breakage
- Do not wear artificial nails to cover up nail problems (e.g. fungal infections or brittle nails)
Finally, if the salon does not appear clean…choose another one! And if you have any symptoms of infection or questions and concerns about caring for your nails, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.