Nail-salon infections: Customerís guide to salons
By TRINA KLEIST
Sentinel staff writer
Customers have to use their heads when visiting nail salons or any other
grooming establishment, beauty professionals said.
"A lot of people are afraid to ask questions, but itís your right to
go in and ask for a clean instrument. Itís your right to ask for a clean
drill," said Karen Dyck, a local member of the California Cosmetology
Association. "You should be as careful as going to a doctor or a
Manicures and pedicures should not hurt or be uncomfortable.
Hereís what to look for in a nail salon:
The shopís establishment license from the state Bureau of Barbering and
Cosmetology and a poster of the bureauís Health and Safety Rules displayed
prominently, usually in the waiting area. The posted license must be the
original, not a photocopy.
If itís not posted for all to see, just walk away, state officials
- Each manicurist also must have an individual license from the state Bureau
of Barbering and Cosmetology in full view. To get that license, he or she
must be at least 17 years old and have completed an approved course
involving at least 400 hours of training.
- Manicurists should wash their hands with soap before each touching a
clientís hands, and should ask each client to wash their hands before the
- Manicurists should lay a clean towel over their stations for every client.
Pedicure clients also should get clean towels to rest their feet on, and
whirlpools should be disinfected after each use.
- All instruments, including files and buffers, should be washed in soapy
water after each client and fully immersed in a disinfectant approved by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for at least 10 minutes. Soiled
instruments must be stored separately from clean instruments in labeled
- Instruments and supplies that cannot be disinfected, such as orange sticks
and the sponges placed between the toes, should be thrown away immediately
- Never allow anyone to use a credo blade to cut away calluses on your heel
or anywhere else. The blades are strictly illegal in California salons.
Callus buffers must be cleaned and disinfected like other instruments.
- The use of drills on the cuticles is legal, but cutting the skin is not.
Manicures and pedicures should not be painful or leave your cuticles bloody
and swollen. Drill bits should be cleaned after each client.
- Containers should be clearly marked with the contents.
- There should be adequate ventilation to remove fumes caused by nail
- You have the right to get clear answers to your questions about
procedures, materials being used and their contents.
For more information on the skin disease, call the Santa Cruz County Health
Services Agency at 454-4481 or see their Web site at www.santacruzhealth.org.
- For information on what to look for in a nail salon, see the state
Department of Consumer Affairs Web site at www.dca.ca.gov/barber. Click on
the consumer guide button in the middle of the page.
- To file a complaint, call Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210 or go to the
complaints page at its Web site.
1999-2000, Santa Cruz County Sentinel Publishers Co.
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