Now that summer is here, citizens across California are going to be spending as much time as possible outdoors. Many of you might decide to go in for a pedicure so that your toes look great in the summer sun. However, a new report shows that there could be some serious risks posed by dropping in to a nail salon for such an activity.
Just what kinds of threats exist? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, recipients of a pedicure are in danger of sustaining an infection of fungus or bacteria, athlete’s foot, or even a staph infection. Not long ago, the California Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology conducted an investigation into the presence of mycobacteria in such products as foot spas and attendant equipment. All but one of the foot spas tested were shown to be positive for a type of mycobacteria.
As one New York dermatologist explains, price doesn’t equate to safety. You might pay more for a high-end salon only to find that you still walk away with some type of infection due to unsanitary conditions.
Luckily, there are steps you can take with your feet to help ensure safety. Although the EPA asks all nail salons to put their foot spas through a disinfection procedure after each customer, it’s hard to verify that this is indeed being carried out. But if a bunch of appointments get lined up one after another, it could be a sign that no time is being taken to clean the equipment. Instead, sign up for the first appointment of the morning if possible.
Although it might sound strange, it’s perfectly acceptable to bring your own equipment for the appointment. A pair of clippers from your own home that you’ve overseen the sterilization of can set your mind at ease, and if your pedicurist scoffs at the idea, you might go elsewhere. Otherwise, you can’t be positive the salon’s items have sterilized since the last person sitting in the chair left.
Before you go in, opt to skip shaving your legs in the 24 hours leading up to the appointment. The tiny, nearly invisible cuts left behind could leave you more susceptible to an infection. You should also tell the person providing your nail service that you don’t want your cuticles cut. Any slashes to this area of the skin can prompt an infection and health issues down the road.
Finally, be on the lookout for inflammation or discoloration and consult a doctor if you suspect an infection has set in following your pedicure.