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Teen Skincare


of a callous or cuticle, can increase the risk of a foot infection.


Battling Bacteria If the nail or area around the nail is red, hot, swollen and painful, you may have contracted a bacterial skin or nail infection. T ese infections usually show up within a few days of having a pedicure. A superfi cial infection spreading to deeper tissue can result from a series of contaminated whirl- pool foot baths used during a pedicure. T ey should be treated with antibiotics and possibly an incision and drainage, depend- ing on their severity.


Fighting Fungus Fungal and viral infections may take weeks to months to appear. Experts suggest watching your feet and paying attention to the signs. Fungal infections: If your nail turns yellow and begins to lift, you’ve probably contracted a nail fungus, one of the most common re- sults of pedicures gone badly. Topical and oral treatments for nail fungus are available. Viral infections: Plantar warts are probably the most common viral infection of the foot. You can pick them up at the spa or the neigh- borhood pool. A callus-like covering and dark spots beneath it give plantar warts away. See your local dermatologist if over-the-counter treatments are not clearing the area.


Tips & Safety Precautions • If manicure and pedicure instruments have not been properly sterilized, organisms can enter the skin or nails and cause health problems. In some cases, you may know right away that something has gone awry.


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Ask about how the tools used for both manicures and pedicures are sanitized


In other cases, it may be months before you realize an exposure has occurred and something is not right. • Seek word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and beauty professionals for a good pedicurist. Ask the pedicurist about the salon’s cleaning and sterilization procedures. Licensed salon professionals in most states are required to attend infection-control classes to attain and maintain their license. Autoclav- ing, the method hospitals use to sterilize surgical instruments, is the preferred method of sterilization. • Look around for basic signs of sanitary standards. Ask the technician to see a copy of the certifi cate of licensure. • Be sure the water was changed after the last client, before receiving your service. • Ask about how the tools used for both manicures and pedicures are sanitized. T e salon workers should tell you the process used at the salon with comfort and ease. Check to make sure the utensils are removed from a sterilized package or cleansing solution. If you note hesitancy or vague responses to your basic questions, fi nd the door and another salon!


Christi Cantu, MSN, CPNP, is a PNP for Pediatric Dermatology of North Texas. She is also an Associate Clinical Professor-PNP Program-University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Women’s University.


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