Having your nails done at a salon is a luxury that just about all women (and even some men) enjoy. But how clean is the salon where you get your pedicures and manicures? Over the New Year, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure utilizing a gift card I received for a neighborhood salon. While enjoying my foot soak, I couldn't help but notice what looked like a small sterilizer (working at Healthmark has done this to me). A moment later, a technician opened the sterilizer and took out what appeared to be a cuticle clipper. He visually examined the device, and not liking what he saw, he tossed it back in the sterilizer and took another one for use. Chills ran down my spine and I began to imagine what he may have seen encrusted on that device. Words like fungus, infection, blood, skin, HemoCheckTM and ProCheckTM began to run through my mind. I wondered who regulates these places. Naturally, I did what I always do when I have a question...I searched online. I found that each state has its own regulations, including safety guidelines. Licensed salons and technicians have a legal responsibility to read, understand, and follow all of the state's rules and regulations, and keep up with any modifications.1 OSHA also has regulations to protect the technicians and require that they follow product manufacturers' instructions for all products used in salons. I also found that the "sterilizer" I saw in the salon was in fact only an ultraviolet (UV) sanitizing box, used to store clean and disinfected tools. The UV boxes do not sterilize.2 So I may not have had the most blissful day at the spa, but I certainly have learned a lot from this experience, notably how to do an at-home pedicure.


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