In 2009, an Ontario hotel began offering “fish pedicures” which consisted of imported Garra rufa fish nibbling away dead skin from clients’ feet. A year later, the Ontario Ministry of Health determined that this service would no longer be permitted primarily due to hygienic concerns. One major issue was that the fish, seen as pedicure tools in this situation, could not be sterilized.
While the idea of live fish assisting in the pedicure process is attention-grabbing, most Canadians don’t think twice about visiting their favorite spa for this treatment. Most assume that the implements used during the pedicure will be adequately cleaned between each use, but that’s not always the case. In fact, cases of toenail fungus related to spa services are quite common.
The next time you find yourself waiting for your turn in the chair, watch how the technicians are cleaning between clients. The foot baths that we all enjoy are relaxing, but they can also be one of the biggest problem areas in a salon. If they are cleaned with a quick spray, you can be sure that they are not clean. It takes at least ten minutes for disinfectants to do their work.
Of course, it’s the tools that most of us worry about when it comes to developing the thick and discolored nail associated with a fungal infection. Tools should be steamed or exposed to ultra-violet light for the best results. Soaking implements can work if they are allowed enough time in the solution—about fifteen minutes. Some items such as buffers and cuticle sticks should be thrown away, not cleaned. Watch to see if the technicians are following these steps
Fungal nails are difficult to resolve, so don’t let a relaxing pedicure turn into a nightmare. Advocate for your feet—don’t be afraid to leave if proper hygiene is not used. If you do notice symptoms of a fungal toenail infection after a spa treatment, contact the office of Chiropodist Tony Abbott immediately. You can reach Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic in Collingwood, ON at (705) 444-9929, or schedule an appointment online.
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