How safe are your nail services?
A lot of people think because we are working on their 'nails', which are hard or solid, that there isn't much risk for infection. Even if they've hear about infections from acrylic nails, they pass it off as because the acrylic caused it or the nail wasn't allowed to 'breathe'.
Doesn't that mean it's not solid? You see my problems with the logic, right? People just don't think it's an issue or they don't get how delicate their skin and nails can be. A way I like to think about it is, your nails are your weapon, not your shield. You have to be on the offense and actively ensure your services are preformed in a safe manner, with safe products and sanitary implements and tools.
Prevention starts and ends with the client.
You may ask how is it up to you that your nail services are done in a safe and hygienic way. You decide where you get your services. Clients need to be informed and proactive about your hand and nail care. Here is a list of ways to protect yourself and that your nail tech should utilize.
1. You and your Nail tech should sanitized your hands before any part of the service is preformed. Feet should be soaked for 5 minutes in foot bath and techs hands sanitized.
2. Tools and implements should come from sealed packages from a heat sanitizing system, taken from sanitizing liquid, or taken from a dry storage marked clean and you can see where used implements go after they are used and it is clearly different.
3. Files need to come from same sanitized areas as tools and be clearly marked Sanitizable OR be new for each client and given to client or disposed of after use. (We use new file and buffer for each client, send home file and throw away buffer.)
4. Know what products are being used on you. Know that they are, what they are supposed to be. Antiseptic foot bath instead of Windex (Yes, it has happened), Hand Sanitizer or antibacterial lotion instead of plain lotion in bottle.
5. Pay attention to the cleanliness of your salon and nail tech. Notice if they have healthy hands and nail. If they are wearing gloves, make sure they change into new gloves and toss last pair between each and every client. Gloves are awesome for preventing disease, but only work for the nail tech if they are changed for every client.
6. If you have overlays and see discoloration make sure the product is filed away and the nail exposed so it can be determined if it is in fact a fungus or infection or just something like makeup or dirt that was able to get between nail and product because of lifting.
These are all things we as nail techs and manicurist should be doing, but it's up to you to make sure your services are done safely.