How to stay safe at a nail salon

Most spas and nail salons are clean and safe. But not all of them are.

If you go to a salon:

  • Don’t shave your legs prior to a pedicure. It can possibly cause an infection.
  • Ask how they keep the instruments they use for manicures and pedicures clean. All of the tools and instruments should be disposable or cleaned each time they're used. 
  • Look around to see if the salon is neat and clean. 
  • Make sure the technicians wash their hands before each manicure or pedicure. Some nail technicians wear a new pair of disposable gloves each time they do a manicure or pedicure.
  • Make sure the technicians never use a sharp blade to cut skin or remove calluses.
  • Have your nails dry naturally. The UV lamps used at nail salons are not good for your skin. Switch to a quick dry polish and that way you can skip the UV dryer and let them dry naturally.

If you have a manicure or pedicure and a few days later you notice your nails, fingers or toes are sore, red or oozing pus (a yellow liquid), you should have the problem checked out. You could have an infection. Your parents should take you to a skin doctor (dermatologist) to get treatment.

Next: Nail biting.