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Is my Mani safe?

Can you get HIV, or other infections from getting a manicure or pedicure?

Anytime you are using (or someone else is using) an instrument that's shared, and has the ability to break the skin, there is a possibilty of getting an infection.

You have nothing to worry about if the tools are cleaned according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) strict guidelines.

  • Instruments must be cleaned after each use on a client, and then submerged fully in disinfectant that is proven effective against HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
  • Work stations and pedicure tubs should be sprayed with disinfectant between clients.
  • If you or the technician gets cut (my worst nightmare), the tool being used needs to be disinfected immediately or thrown away, and the cut needs to be cleaned with soap and water.

Fit's Tips: If you already have a salon you love, just double check to make sure they follow these guidelines. And before trying a new nail place out, inquire about their safety standards too.

Join The Conversation
Pedi_Cure Pedi_Cure 10 years
As a manufacturer of spa chairs and a strong advocate of stronger cleaning and disinfecting protocols to protect the consumer, the editors at FitSugar need to make some changes for consumers to watch out for. Your advice that "...pedicure tubs should be sprayed with disinfectant between clients" is not only wrong, its dangerous! New Centers for Disease control and EPA advisories clearly states the use of a Hospital level disinfectant with bactericidal, fungicial, and virucidal activity is required, and the liquid disinfectant must be circulated inside the spa basin for usually 10 minutes, minimum! Please check their advisory out on proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures of pedicure spas at: The biggest tip is to ask and watch what your nail techs are doing after each service, are they actually using an EPA registered disinfectant? Is it being properly mixed and diluted to kill dangerous germs and pathogens or are you risking your health by sticking your legs and feet into what has essentially become a "public bath" (i.e. spa pedicure chair or even bucket!) Do they throw out non-disinfectable items like buffer blocks, non-reusable nail files, pumice stones (they cannot be disinfected!), etc.? Making sure that you don't get more than just pretty nails should be your biggest concern when you leave a nail salon. And lastly, just because the nail service is "expensive" does not mean that they are abiding by the new advisory, make sure that they are doing what is right for you and not for their pocketbooks. Best regards, Pedi_Cure
DStirk DStirk 10 years
thats is awesome lalalola... i wish my mom could do that!
LaLaLola LaLaLola 10 years
My mom is a manicurist, so if I ever get my nails done she helps me
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
Yep, my normal place is like that, but I trusted this was a 5-star hotel. I thought it was reliable!!! Grrrrrrrr...I've been getting manis and pedis for over 10 years now...this is the first time I've had a problem :(
HariboLicorice HariboLicorice 10 years
Ugh that's awful Mme and txhottie! I found a salon that gives each client their own mani/pedi kit to take home with them- you bring it each time that you go to the salon. Granted, it's not as luxurious as some other spas that I've been to- but at least it's not as exensive AND its clean. It hink more spas should do it that way- definitely takes some of my fears away. I also bring my own cuticle tools now from home- I"d rather schlepp it there than have a horrible infection!
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
My husband went on a business trip to Prague and I joined him. I went to the spa in our 5-star hotel for a pedicure and a month later my big toe was on FIRE with a nasty fungal disease. This has been since June and I'm still fighting it. They say it takes a year. Great!!!!! Never going to anyone but my trusted mani-pedi people again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
txhottie txhottie 10 years
My sister got a serious fungal infection from a salon who didn't clean their pedi basins well enough. She had to take a perscription medication to get rid of it and a year later the toe nail is finally looking more normal. make sure your salon cleans well and follows all the sanitation regulations, otherwise you could end up spending serious $$ to fix the problem later!
DStirk DStirk 10 years
OH i used to get so freaked out when the cut down my cuticals on my toes and make them bleed, now i just ask them not to cut my cuticals.
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