Guest Column: Are whirlpool pedicures unsafe?

There has been a lot of “buzz” going around the Rockford area with people claiming pedicures may be unsafe if performed in a whirlpool pedicure tub. If the tub isn’t properly disinfected, clients can end up catching tuberculosis, a staph infection or fungus in the feet. This statement is only half true. I’d be happy to clear any confusion.

Pedicures in any pedicure tub can be unsafe if the nail technician is not properly trained. If the nail tech hasn’t disinfected the pedicure tub, or they use an illegal credo blade during the service, you are at risk. This is why it is necessary to do some investigating before you choose a nail technician. Investigate the same way you would for a new doctor or dentist. A professional in the beauty industry promotes health, along with the overall look. Humans take their hair and nails for granted, assuming they’ll always be there. Sorry to burst your bubble, but unless you take care of them, they won’t be.

Nail Technology is a six month course where students learn proper techniques to perform manicures, pedicures and nail enhancements. Proper sanitation procedures along with nail, hand and foot anatomy are subjects covered in class. After graduation, nail technicians travel to Chicago or Springfield to take the state board exam to become licensed. Every working nail tech must have her license displayed in the salon for all to view.

If we want to save ourselves from being victims of unclean and unhealthy nail services, we need to ask questions. Look for a license posted for every working nail tech in the salon. How are the metal implements disinfected between clients? Ask where the nail technology course was taken. If your nail tech cannot communicate with you and explain their sanitation procedures or tell you about the products they are using on you, refuse to have the service. Cheap prices may not be worth the end result. Quick services aren’t always great, either. Rushing through appointments might lead to rushing through sanitation. Disinfectants need time to work properly.

Now, we know pedicures are safe in whirlpool spas and any other type of pedicure tub as long as the tub is sanitized thoroughly and the service is performed by an educated professional. Once you find a professional manicurist, you will discover the true meaning of having a safe and relaxing pedicure. Enjoy.

From the March 1-7, 2006, issue

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