Friday, August 3, 2012

The risks of pedicures, foot baths

Be careful when getting a pedicure, says the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
  •  Foot spas that aren’t cleaned properly can harbor germs. “The screens and tubes of foot spas are particularly good places for bacteria to collect and grow, often forming dense layers of cells and proteins called biofilms, which can be very hard to remove,” the agency said.
  •  “Avoid any salon that is visibly dirty,” the agency advised. By law, dirty towels must be placed in a closed container and not used again until washed. Clean towels must be kept in a closed cabinet. Floors, walls and counters should appear clean.
  •  If you have an infection, don’t go to a salon. “Salons are prohibited from knowingly serving clients with communicable conditions such as the flu or strep throat.”
  •  Don’t go for a foot soak if you have bug bites, scratches or cuts. Don’t shave your legs for at least 24 hours beforehand. Diabetics are particularly at risk of infection when getting foot treatments.
  •  Foot basins must be cleaned between patrons. For whirlpool basins and air jet spas, the disinfectant must circulate for at least 10 minutes. Each cleaning must be recorded in a log; consumers have the right to inspect those books
  •  Nail clippers and cuticle tools must be cleaned and disinfected before use. Buffers, cotton pads and emery boards must be discarded after one use. Consider bringing your own cleaning tools. 

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