Health Tip: Stay Safe at the Nail Salon

(HealthDay News) -- Whether you live in a big city or small town, you'll probably find no shortage of nail salons. But before you treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure, find out if health and sanitation guidelines are being met.

Dirty instruments and poor sanitation at some nail salons can put women at risk for diseases such as athlete's foot and hepatitis B and C.

St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, Wisc., advises taking these precautions:

  • Make sure your salon has an up-to-date operating license.

  • Don't shave your legs the night before or the day of a salon footbath. Scrapes and nicks can make you more susceptible to infection.

  • Check that nail instruments are properly sanitized. Heat sterilization is best. Even better: Bring your own nail tools.

  • Wash your hands before a manicure and ask your manicurist to do the same.

  • Insist on fresh soapy water for hand or foot soaking.

  • Ask the manicurist to push back cuticles instead of cutting them.