CBS 4 Special Report: Nail Salon Dangers

(Source: KGBT Photo)

When taking a trip to the nail salon, it’s often a girl’s hardest decision to choose the right color for any occasion. But underneath a day of pampering, lies a forgotten health risk.

To protect the health and safety of customers, sanitizing and sterilizing tools and equipment, including whirlpool or non-whirlpool basins, is required by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

The process must be done after the use upon each client or else it leaves them at a possible high risk of infections.

"Paronychia is basically an infection of the junction between your nail and your skin where your cuticle is,” explained April Lopez, a Wound Specialist of Lopez Family Clinic. “And that is very common especially when you get cut with dirty implements that haven't been sterilized."

In addition, TDLR requires nail salons to use an EPA-registered bactericidal, fungicidal and veridical disinfectant.

Lopez adds that you do not want to be sticking your feet in foot basins if you have an infection or open sore because if it’s not properly taken care of it can lead to an amputation, which is something Lisa Mendez, the owner of Polished Nail Salon in Harlingen is aware of.

"Anybody needing a lit bit more care on their toes because they may have some kind of disease or condition like fungus,” said Mendez “Every salon has the right to deny services to them and refer them somewhere else."

Since January, five nail salons across the Valley have outstanding violations according to TDLR like failing to follow foot spas cleaning and sanitation procedures, which is why customers like Cooper Elliff look out for warning signs.

"Just things that were maybe used multiple times or files that looked really worn or not seeing them putting something back right away,” said Elliff. “They would put it back in the same container on their station, which is kind of alarming."

To determine whether a nail salon is safe and clean, Mendez said to make sure that the whirlpool spas are dry and that all tools are taken out of a sterilization bag.

You can also refer to TDLR’s website to see if your current nail salon is following all health and safety standards.

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