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Nail salon safety: What to watch for at your next manicure or pedicure

Nail salon safety: What to watch for at your next manicure or pedicure
From Global News - September 4, 2017

Denyse Ruptash does her own pedicures now, ever since her toe became infected in a spa in Sherwood Park, Alta. She said she was poked with a sharp tool.

[The nail technician] just poked my toe instead of going under the toe nail, Ruptash said.

Within about 24 hours, my toe was really sore. It was black and blue and very inflamed.

The pain and swelling lasted for over a year. During that time, Ruptash could wear only flip-flops or oversized boots.

Industry experts say her storyand others like itare evidence Alberta needs stricter rules for nail salons.

Right now, hairstylists in Alberta require a government-issued licence, but there is no such regulation for nail technicians.

Is [the lack of licensing] a concern? Yes, said EvelineCharles Academy instructor Terri Nicolaychuk-Lagasse. Should we be looked at? Absolutely, I agree.

I think everybody deserves to have a career and everybody deserves to make money, said Analia Rubie, director of MC College. However, I think its important to be educated.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has investigated more than 100 complaints in Edmonton-area nail salons since April of 2016. In July, inspectors ordered one business to close temporarily, for not disinfecting tools between clients.

Dr. Kathryn Koliaska says infections are rare, but they can happen.

[Clients can contract] anything from a bacterial infection to a fungal infection and also viral infections, explained the AHS medical officer of health. Whether that would be warts or blood-borne viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

How can you protect yourself? Nicolaychuk-Lagasse and Rubie offer a few tips:

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