The main danger when getting manicures and pedicures is contracting fungal or bacterial infections, which, from what I’ve heard, is not that pleasant experience. So, how can you prevent this from happening?
The first thing you should check is the salon itself. It should be and look clean and sanitary. The manicure/ pedicure stations should also be clean and look tidy and neat. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask them to tell you or even show you how they disinfect their tools. Sterilization is the best way for the equipment to be disinfected, but it’s not been widely applied. When you are in your station, check if the equipment looks clean, fresh and disinfected. The technician should wash their hands or wear new gloves before starting the session with you. Clean towels should be used for every client.
Pedicures offer extra risks, mainly due to the use of sinks. The tubs should be methodically drained, cleaned and disinfected between clients. So should be every area the client steps barefoot.
Cuticles do not allow infections to enter into the base of the nail. So, avoid having them cut. Instead ask the technician to push them back and apply some cuticle softener and scrape away the excess with an orangewood stick.
An other way to avoid the risks of mani, pedi is to do it yourself. But, even in this case make sure you clean and disinfect the tools you are using. It also costs much less [fyi: Americans spend $7.3 billion each year on their nails].
In the end, allow me to cite what I have found on the site totalbeauty (click here for the entry entitled “You are Always at Risk”):
Podiatrist Dr. Robert Spalding, author of “Death by Pedicure,” states that “at this time, an estimated one million unsuspecting clients walk out of their chosen salon with infections — bacterial, viral and fungal.” And no matter which salon you go to, there is always a risk of infection. He claims that in his research “75 percent of salons in the United States are not following their own state protocols for disinfections,” which includes not mixing their disinfectant solutions properly on a daily basis, not soaking their instruments appropriately, and using counterfeit products to reduce costs (for example Windex substituted for Barbicide), says the doctor. And the problem is that there is no way to really “verify an instrument has been properly soaked and sterilized,” without watching the process.