Your Nail Salon: Is It Clean?


A number of years ago, I set about looking for a clean nail salon in the Richmond area where I could refer my patients for manicures and pedicures. You may ask, why does a podiatrist care where patients go for manicures and pedicures? Well, the truth is, nail salons are notorious for being places where you can pick up germs or a fungal infection. If you're a diabetic, or if you're undergoing chemotherapy, or if your immune system is compromised, avoiding germs and infections isn't just a good idea, it can be a matter of life and death.

So, I visited nail salons all over Richmond, looking for one that had high enough cleanliness standards that I could feel good about sending my patients there. Do you know how many truly clean nail salons I found in the area? Zero. Not one. Seeing there was a great need for my patients to have somewhere to go to get their nails done in an absolutely clean environment, I decided to open a medical-grade nail spa right here, inside The Foot & Ankle Center.

The Foot & Hand Spa is Richmond's first medical-grade nail spa that's dedicated entirely to the care of the feet and hands. In our spa, you won't have to worry about germs and infection because we follow the same rigorous cleanliness and sterilization protocols as a hospital.

If you're going anywhere else for your nail care, here are some things to look for to see how clean the facility really is:

  • First, ask about the foot basin. Most salons will wipe the outside with a disinfectant between uses, but how about the inside? Do they clean the filter that's inside the tub? Do they run a disinfectant through the motor? The motor inside the tub collects a lot of really disgusting stuff, so when you put your feet in a whirlpool, if they haven't thoroughly cleaned it, then as soon as they turn it on, all the dead skin from the last 50 people who were in there before you comes out in your foot bath. Here at the Foot & Hand Spa, we run a disinfectant through the motor for 10 minutes, drain it and then disinfect the outside of the tub — and we do that between every single patient.
  • Next, look at the emory board they plan to use on your nails. If it looks like it's been used, it probably has been. Do you see scratch marks? If so, then someone else's nails have probably been on that, and parts of someone else's nails are probably still in it. Possibly someone with a fungal infection. At our spa, we never re-use any non-sterilizable instruments. We use a new emory board with every client. You'll probably see us take it out of the bag before we use it on you.
  • Your pedicurist is likely to use a file to remove dead skin from your feet. Does it look new? Or could it have someone else's dead skin on it? Remember, that dead skin can contain bacteria and fungus.

At our spa, you'll never have to worry about cleanliness. If you'd like to experience the benefits of a medical grade pedicure and manicure, make an appointment today!