TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A trip to the salon for a day of pampering is meant to do the body well, but when cosmetologist aren’t following regulations, they could be putting your body at risk.
Since 2016, inspections conducted by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation ordered violations for 11 cosmetology salons in Smith County 8 in Gregg County and two in Angelina County.
Just last month a nail salon in Longview was fined $750 for failing to clean, sanitize, and disinfect their tools used for manicures and pedicure and a salon in Whitehouse was fined $1,300 for not cleaning out foot spas on a bi-weekly basis.
As experts explain when sanitary procedures aren’t followed serious health issues can arise but there are a few things you can look out for before sitting in the chair.
Dr. David Andreone, a podiatrist at UT Health East Texas, says he treats clients for infections they've picked up at nail salons frequently.
“Last one I had was about a week ago, it’s pretty common,” says Andreone. “Fungal infections, bacteria’s like staff and strep e.coli and Pseudomonas. You have to be aware of the environment that you’re in when you go to a nail salon like that.”
He adds that in some severe cases he’s even had to amputate one the infection reached the bone.
“For the most part cosmetologists get busy and some kind of let sanitation run out the door,” says Denise Morgan, a Director of Education. “That’s the main thing we do here at Star College Cosmetology School is teach the importance of sanitation because we don’t want to spread anything.”
Morgan says there are a few things people can look out for to lower their chances of picking up an infection at a nail salon the first being a TDLR license and an inspection report.
“Because TDLR does require us to hang our inspection report,” says Morgan.
Tela Mange, a spokeswoman for TDLR says if a license isn’t posted customers should ‘definitely’ ask to see it. Mange and Morgan add that there may be other warning signs as well.
“If they are just re-using things without making sure that they are clean or sterilized that’s a big problem,” says Mange.
“The things you want to look for is clean counters, no dirty towels laying anywhere, its dust free hair swept up and no nail clippings,” says Morgan.
Andreone says it’s also important to know what a nail tech can and can’t do.
“Typically, if they are cutting into skin that’s probably a big no-no, and if they are trimming things back too far that’s also a bad idea,” says Andreone. “If they stick within the scope of things that they can do it should be a good experience.”
If it’s not, say something. TDLR inspects every salon bi-yearly or when they receive a complaint so if you see any of these warning signs at a salon, you’re asked to contact them.
“We’re not trying to make life hard for them we’re just trying to make sure that the consumer is protected,” says Mange.
For more on how to file a complaint or to see if a salon in your area has recent violations just head to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations website.