Monday, March 03, 2003
Compiled by SDNP
The New Nation
They're the pleasure palaces women (and now even men)
visit to get primped and pampered-and the last place you'd expect to pick
up a nasty infection. But there is also an ugly side to the beauty
business. here is what you need to look out for-and these are no myths!
Risks: impetigo, herps, hepatitis B and C.
A humble pair of tweezers may seem innocent enough when a you need to have
you eyebrows plucked, but if they're left lying on salon benches or
sitting in a beauty therapist's pocket, you can bet they haven't been
sterlised after the last client.
You may be at risk of infection if your beauty therapist gouges out
someone else's ingrown hair and then uses the unsterilised tweezers on
1. Always check that tools are sterilised and laid out on a tray.
2. Ask you therapist if you can see the autoclave-the sterilising
container-before she starts tweezing.
If you notice the tweezers are wrapped in autoclave wrapping, it's also a
good indication that they have been thoroughly sterilised.
Risks: impetigo, dermatits
If warm, moist towels aren't washed before reuse, they provide a breeding
ground for skin nasties such as impetigo, a bacterial infection that
Therapists who dip their fingers into products and then apply them to you
face, also risk transferring infections such as dermatitis to your skin.
1. Ensure all towels and gowns used during your facial are fresh.
2. Make sure the therapist wears gloves if she has sores, cuts or skin
infections on her hands.
3. Check that a spatula or cotton bud is used to apply products to your
risks: warts, tinea, impetigo, and hepatitis B and C
When you have a bikini or leg wax, make sure the therapist uses a fresh
spatula every time she applies the wax.
Otherwise skin matter from one persons can be passed to the next-along
with viral warts, tinea, and impetigo.
hepatitis B and C are also potential hazards-as people often bleed after
having a bikini wax-but the risk is small.
1. Find a therapist who uses individual wax pots, or a new spatula each
time it's dipped into the pot.
2. Don't fall for the "hot wax kills everything" line, because it isn't
hot enough to kill germs if it can be applied to skin.
3. Make sure the therapist doesn't wax over scabs or moles.
risks: HIV, hepatitis B and C
Electrolysis needles-used to remove hair on the face and body-need to be
handled with caution. Like any instrument that pentrates the skin and
comes into contact with blood, the needles can carry viruses, such as HIV.
Contracting hepatitis B or C is more of a risk, as the viruses can survive
for days or even weeks on the surface of a needle.
1. Insist the therapist uses pre-sterilised, single-use needles-and watch
them being removed from a sealed package.
2. The therapist should use a convered bin to dispose off used needles.
Preparing skin with alcohol wipes also reduces the risk of infection.
risks: warts, fungle infections
Warts and fungal infections can be passed on from client to client if
pumies or pedi paddles are not sterilised.
It's also important to remember that beauty therapists are not
podiatrists. Any therapist wielding a razor blade to remove hardened skin
should be avoided.
1. Bring you own pumice, pedi paddle or cuticle stick
2. If you are having a manicure, watch our for therapists who reuse
cuticle sticks-fungal infections can be passed on this way.
3. Look for therapists who used disposable paddles.
risks: warts, fungal infections, paronychia
If a therapist reuses cuticle sticks during a manicure, it can transfer
infection from person to person, and may lead to warts or paronychia (a
1. Take your own stick or look for a therapist who sterilises cuticle
sticks and nail files between treatments.
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