Much has been reported about the hidden danger lurking for women getting pedicures performed in whirlpool foot baths in nail salons. If the tub is not properly disinfected, users could end up getting Mycobacterium fortuitum bacterial infections which start out as boils and turn into oozing sores, often leaving disfiguring scars.
Apart from such bacterial skin infections, users can also get fungal nail infections, viral infections and in the worst scenarios, even blood-borne viral diseases hepatitis B and C, possibly resulting in cancer of the liver.
To get infected with such diseases, microscopic blood contact is all that is necessary. And it is well known that during a manicure or pedicure, small breaks in the skin can occur. If a cuticle pusher or nipper that has been used on the tiny skin tear of an individual with hepatitis and is then used on your delicate cuticle tissue at the time of an accidental cut, this serious and sometimes fatal infection can enter your system.
Sources of infection can often be traced to equipment used at the nail salon. Yet, there is no regulation which requires the nail salons to sterilise their equipment and many nail aestheticians are actually uneducated about the dangers of their trade.
These dangers are part of the reasons why I’ve stopped visiting the nail spas. My regular nail spa, Daisy’s Nail Cottage that I used to frequent and trust, is located far away for me and I’m too afraid to try out the new nail salons that have sprouted around my neighbourhood, even though their prices are way cheaper. Many times, I walk in, only to walk away with nothing done.
But this doesn’t mean I will stop visiting nail spas altogether. I think as in anything else, we need to open up our eyes and ensure our own safety. I will just have to choose my nail spas carefully, ensuring that their foot baths are clean, or better still if they aren’t using the whirlpool sort. I will also have to look out for their other tools used, and that their manicurists look intelligent enough to know basic hygiene. The most important thing of course, is to go to those based on recommendations, and not because of a lower price.
At the end of the day, it is our well-being that is at stake even though the beautifying process only involves our hand, foot and nails. So why take the risk?