For many people, especially women, nail salons are a place of pampering and relaxation. After a very long and stressful day or week at work, simply getting your nails done, or having a mani and pedi, getting a foothbath or a hand and foot massage can feel so heavenly. The simple services of nail salons can melt away huge icebergs of stress.
The Dangers Lurking in Nail Salons
But there are health dangers lurking around nail salons. And most people are not aware of these dangers. One can get infections and fungal diseases from a nail salon. And a study found out that nail salon goers are at risk of getting chronic hepatitis. A lot of nail salons make use of sharp instruments for their services and that fact itself carries a risk of infection if these instruments are re-used especially when they are not disinfected.
Hepatitis from Nail Salons?
First off what is hepatitis? It means liver inflammation. There are 3 types – Hep A, Hep B and Hep C. The letters refer to the type of virus involved. The symptoms of Hep A and Hep B are very similar and they include
- Pain in the abdomen
- Pain in the joints
- Jaundice or the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
Hep B has earned the nickname “silent killer” since as high as 95% of those with Hep B do not show any symptoms until it’s too late. In some cases Hep B can progress without being noticed by the person who has it for many years and most often the patient only learns about having chronic Hep B once they have severe liver damage. But it’s not just nail salons that can expose you accidentally to hepatitis and other infectious diseases. According to Robert Gish, M.D., a clinical professor at UC San Diego, anyplace where you can get tattoos, ear piercing, body piercing, and even dental offices can put you at risk.
This is not to say that women should stop going to nail salons. Or that anyone who goes to a nail salon will definitely get hepatitis B or any infection for that matter. But as much as we love prettying up our nails and pampering ourselves in nail salons, there are certain risks involved including accidental exposure to hepatitis B. However, the good news is there are certain things that you can do to protect yourself from getting exposed accidentally to infectious diseases in nail salons.
Protecting Your Self from Accidental Exposure to Hep B in Nail Salons
- Make sure that the salon’s license is clearly posted.
- See to it that the salon is strict on disinfecting their scissors and clippers after every use
- The nail salon should only use disposable files
- Pedicure baths and all suction screens in tubs must be disinfected after every use.
- Check the products that the nail salon uses and look for labels. Those without may be diluted.
- Always bring your own polish
Nail salons have been a source of pampering for many women but accidental exposure to Hepatitis B is surely one nail salon nightmare no one wants to experience. So be vigilant when picking a salon.
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