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Sandal Season: Tips for a safe mani-pedi

Posted at 6:02 PM, Mar 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-24 19:13:48-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As people head to the beach during sandal season, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation reminds nail salon customers of steps they can take to ensure a safe and hygienic experience.

According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, between 2020 and 2022 in Nueces County there were violations at 16 different salons.

“One of the things I’ve noticed is they use the same jet liners for every client,” Thap Huinh, nail technician at Q Nails said.

Some of the worst violations included practicing without a cosmetology license, not cleaning or sanitizing their work area, failure to use an EPA disinfectant, failure to dispose of single use items and not sterilizing equipment after each client.

One salon had $5,500 worth of violations.

That’s why Maylene Alvarado said she’s picky about where she goes to get her nails done.

“I do not like trying different nail salons, but my sister comes here and she loves it,” Alvarado said as she sat in a chair at Q Nails in Portland. “If they’re clean, if they have their tools sanitized and everything’s separate from the dirty stuff.”

In San Patricio County, there was only one salon that had violations — which was not Q Nails.

“That’s the main priority,” Huinh said. “They want a clean environment. Not only friendly, but just to make sure that when you leave out of here, you don’t have any infections or anything like that.”

Huinh said the liners in their pedicure tubs use a special technology.

“It’s a tube,” Huinh said. “And we connect it to the jet. So, every time we use it, nothing gets cross contaminated for the other client. And so when we use that, it’s not like the old jets that they use that build up gunk overtime.”

Many salons will have tools in packages that they’ll open in front of customers to let them know they’re sterilized.

According to the TDLR, safety starts with the customer. If a person has a cut, rash or open wound, they suggest not making an appointment until it is completely healed.

An establishment should not provide services on broken skin because bacteria can easily spread and cause an infection.

It’s also important to make sure the establishment and the technician are licensed.

Check with the TLDR.

A technician should wash their hands, and tools need to be cleaned and disinfected.

He said sanitizing is especially important.

“It’s important that they have a clean work area as well,” Huinh said.

Spas and foot basins have to be drained, cleaned, disinfected and wiped after each client.

And if there’s a liner, it must be thrown away and replaced with a new one.

 If someone notices redness or swelling near their nail bed, the TDLR said to not put it off. Instead, visit a doctor because it could be an infection.

To report problems with sanitation or safety at an establishment it’s recommended that customers tell the management.

Reports can be made on the TDLR website.