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  • Writer's pictureMy Family Podiatry

Nail Salons: Are They Safe?

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Nail salons are hugely popular, there is no denying that. Any time I walk through a shopping centre, the nail salons are full of people of all ages having their feet pampered.

Unfortunately, I also see the follow up to some of these salon visits including fungal nail infections, ingrown toenails or the occasional skin infection. This is not to say that all nail salons are causing these issues, however the lack of enforced regulations surrounding nail salons makes it very difficult to tell a good salon from a bad one. Nail salons look like a great time and they do some incredible work with nail polish but there are some things to look out for.

What To Look For:

  • Plastic Liners In Foot Baths: Foot baths can be a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. Single use liners on the baths can ensure that these infections are not transmitted between clients.

  • Sterile Instruments: This one can be a little tricky to be sure of but all instruments used on your feet should come out of a sealed packaging. This packaging is often a blue coloured plastic and hopefully indicates the instruments have been put through an autoclave (equipment steriliser).

  • Fresh Nail Polish: Ideally a fresh pot of nail polish will be used on your toes. This ensures there is no contamination of the polish. Again, this can be difficult to be certain of but one way is to take your own polish with you.

Tips To Avoid Issues At Nail Salons:

  • Get your podiatrist to cut your nails before going to the salon: Podiatrists are regulated to ensure sterilisation of all their instruments. This means there are records for every autoclave cycle to ensure their instruments are clean and not carrying any nasty bacteria or fungus.

  • If you do want the salon technician to cut your nails, take your own instruments. Clippers and nail files can come into direct contact with infectious fungal spores and if not cleaned properly, can easily spread the infection to other toes and to other people.

  • Do not let the technician cut too far down the side of the nail: This is an excellent way to develop an ingrown toenail. Cutting the nail edge down the side increases the likelihood of the nail edge penetrating through the skin and causing an ingrown nail.

  • Take your own polish with you to the nail salon: This ensures that only your own germs will be painted onto your nails, not anyone else’s. Nail polish and nail brushes can pick up fungal spores off nails and if this brush is then dipped back into a pot of polish, the spores will be spread to every person the polish is used on.

  • Do not leave your polish on too long: Leaving the polish on for more than a week increases the risk of a severe infection developing. This is due to the dark environment the polish produces under the nail, along with the fact you cannot see that an infection is starting until after the polish is removed.

The simplest tip we can offer is, do not be afraid to ask questions. A professional at a nail salon should be comfortable with answering any questions on hygiene and sterilisation. If they avoid these questions, consider choosing another salon.

As always, the team at My Family Podiatry are here to help with any foot, leg or nail issues you are experiencing. We follow strict hygiene protocols and patient wellbeing is always the priority. Call us today on 07 3088 6116 or click the Book Now button below to get in touch and see how we can help get you back on your feet.

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