Do Your Homework before Visiting the Spa: 8 Nail Salon Safety Pointers


Sandal season is in full swing and you are probably visiting your favorite nail salon or spa more frequently than during the colder months. This is a great way to pamper yourself, but you don’t want to come home with anything more than perfectly polished nails – for example, a bacterial or fungal infection.

Although rare, it’s possible to contract a nasty infection when enjoying a pedicure. Do your homework! Here are our top 8 pointers for nail salon safety:

1.    Don’t shave your legs a couple of days before your appointment to prevent bacteria from entering small nicks in your skin. If you have a visible cut or scrape, postpone your salon appointment.

2.    Bring your own flip-flops to wear.

3.    Maine requires that nail technicians are licensed. Check for posted licenses for the nail tech, cosmetologist and the salon itself.

4.    Assess the general cleanliness of the business. Is it clean and free of trash? Are dirty towels in a labeled container? Check that the nail technician’s hands and nails are spotless.

5.    Look for a sparkling clean footbath. These should always be cleaned and disinfected between customers.

6.    Make sure that tools have been disinfected or come from a newly-opened pack – or bring your own.

7.    Single-use tools like emery boards, toe separators and cotton pads must be tossed after each use.

8.    Allow your technician to push back the cuticles, but avoid cutting them.

Despite these precautions, you may contract a bacterial or fungal infection. Watch for redness, pain, warmth, oozing or itching, especially around the toes. Please call us if you notice anything suspicious so we can check it out.

Special warning for patients with diabetes – because nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation often accompany diabetes, you may not be able to feel any pain during a pedicure. Even a small cut or nick can escalate into a major problem like an ulcer because white blood cells can’t get to the injury to promote healing. Be sure to alert the technician to your condition and ask that extra care be taken not to break the skin and not to cut the nails too short.

Let Us Help Relieve Your Foot Pain

Foot or toe pain is not normal! If you have any discomfort from arthritis, an injury or just from overuse, please call Michele Kurlanski, DPM at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Kurlanski offers expert and professional podiatry services in Cumberland County, Maine. Please call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule your appointment in our Scarborough office.