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Salon pedicures increasing cases of athletes foot

Thursday 4th January 2018
Some 52 per cent of beauty salon customers contract dermal or fungal infections, new research shows. Image: Dragan Grkic via iStock
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More than half of people who have a pedicure in a beauty salon are at risk of contracting fungal infections such as athlete's foot, a new study has found.

Research carried out at the Rutgers School of Public Health in the US led to the discovery that 52 per cent of beauty salon customers have caught a dermal or fungal infection after undergoing a beauty procedure.

People who visited salons three times or more in the space of a year were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with athlete's foot or fungal nail infections, while some customers even experienced respiratory problems due to fumes from the chemicals used during some procedures.

Lindsay Milich, lead author of the study, commented: "While there have been some studies on the safety and health risks to employees of these facilities, less is known about client perception of these risks or whether they are exposed in a similar manner.

"We found that although clients might be aware of some hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde, they often do not recognise the dangers posed by pathogens and environmental irritants."

As a result, this suggests that customers are not necessarily taking precautions to protect themselves from the bacteria they may be exposed to in these environments, often leaving them in need of care from podiatrists as a consequence.

Measures like asking beauty therapists to wear fresh gloves for each new procedure, making sure all equipment is sterile and washing the hands, feet or whatever other area has been treated at the salon thoroughly as soon as possible after a procedure can all help to keep infections at bay.

What's more, it is not just salon customers who are at risk of contracting nasty skin or nail infections, but also the staff who work in them. They are exposed to additional risks too, such as ultraviolet light, potential respiratory problems from poor air circulation and allergic reactions.

Written by Angela Newbury

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