Nail Salons: Are they sanitary? - - Jackson, MS

Nail Salons: Are they sanitary?

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Whether it's a shiny red topcoat, French Tip or just a simple clear coat, many of you go to nail salons to pamper yourselves.

But how do you know your favorite spot is following state guidelines to keep you safe from an infection?

3 On Your Side went undercover to find the inconsistencies and some of you may think twice before stepping foot back in your favorite salon.

"You trust somebody and you think that they are sterilizing their equipment and you know they're not reusing certain things but they are a lot of them that try to cut corners," said Brenda Steele, someone who gets a manicure and pedicure at least every 3 weeks.

She's finally found a salon that she trusts, Euro Nails in Madison.

"They're just great here," Steele explained. "I've been coming here for about 7 years and I mean I wouldn't go anywhere else." 

A sense of security she's now happy to have, but sadly she's gone to OTHER nail salons, leaving with more than just a shiny new topcoat.

"I've been to other nail salons where I've got an infection," said Steele.

Euro nails owner, Alex Truong, says these types of infections can be avoided.

"You know in this business you have to keep everything sanitize and keep it clean because the one time that we don't, we will be in trouble," Truong stressed.

The Mississippi Board of Cosmetology outlined a list sanitation guidelines local nail salon owners must follow in order to keep their licensing.  For example, placing tools in a properly labeled receptacle, making sure they are sterilized before using them on another client.

 "They come every 6 months, come check and do an inspection," said Long Nguyen, owner of Got Nails.  

We wanted to know was everyone following the rules. Our undercover cameras shows that's simply not the case.

We caught a nail tech at a salon in Madison not wearing gloves during a pedicure, minutes later she decides to put some on. 

And minutes after this employee was finished with a pedicure, you can see him wiping out the bowl, without using any cleanser or bleach.

The MS Board of Cosmetology requires salons to clean and disinfect these spas after every customer or risk getting a staph infection.

Jackson Dermatologist, Dr. Ralph Daniel says staph is the most common form of bacteria in a nail salon, but there are many other risk involved.

"Other infections that we see are warts which are viral infections and fungi such as Candida and what we call the dramatifide fungus," said Dr. Daniel, who has 30 years of experience with dermatology, specifically nails.  

Dr. Daniel has some suggestions that could keep you healthy and infection free.

"One of the things the customer can do is they can bring their own instruments or they can order on the Internet or Google it, disposable manicure sets take them into the salons with them," Dr. Daniel explained.

He says also don't be afraid to ask questions, something Steele wishes she would have thought to do, instead of learning the hard way.

"Having a place that you can come in and you know that it's very well kept up and clean, said Steele. "You feel comfortable, you're safe and secure"

We reached out to the Mississippi Board of Cosmetology to get its reaction to our story. The Executive Director, Cynthia Johnson declined an interview.

According to its website, inspectors check these salons once per year. If they find violations the salons can face a fine. 

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