How To Be Safe At The Nail Salon— A Helpful Guide For Those Fighting Cancer!

Battling cancer can bring forth a whirlwind of emotions, unexpected changes, and daily decisions that impact everyday self-care routines.

How To Be Safe At The Nail Salon
Photo by Michelle Leman

As someone who lost their 46-year-old mother to breast cancer at the tender age of 16, I witnessed firsthand the importance of maintaining one’s sense of self during the fight against the formidable disease. 

My mother, a former beauty pageant winner, fashion model, and American Airlines Flight Attendant, valued the way she presented herself to the world, despite the challenges she faced on the daily. 

For many people, manicures and pedicures are forms of self-care and a source of peace during these stressful times. However, doctors highly suggest staying extra careful with both beauty products and beauty treatments as you fight cancer.

To help ensure safety and enjoyment during nail salon visits, I want to share my advice on being safe at the nail salon, especially for those fighting cancer.

Seek Medical Advice

Before receiving any beauty treatments, consult your healthcare providers to determine whether they are safe for you. What may seem harmless could have different implications based on your health status.

Prioritize Cleanliness

First and foremost, it’s crucial to choose a nail salon that maintains the highest standards of cleanliness. Pay close attention to red flags such as dusty corners, unkempt workstations, and a lack of cleanliness in the common areas. A clean environment is the foundation of a safe salon experience.

Editor’s Note

We highly recommend asking your PCP/Oncologist to confirm if any services you desire are permitted.

Pay Close Attention To Hand Hygiene

Both you and your nail technician should begin your appointment by thoroughly washing your hands. It’s a simple yet effective way to minimize the risk of infection.

How To Be Safe At The Nail Salon
Photo by RDNE Stock project

Disinfection Is Key

Observe your technician closely. Ensure they meticulously disinfect their equipment and tools, including cleaning pedicure chairs, with hospital-grade, EPA-approved sanitizers. This extra step is essential in preventing infections.

Use Disposable Tools

Your technician should use disposable tools and either provide them for your use or discard them after use. This practice minimizes the risk of cross-contamination.

Effective Communication

Clear communication with your beauty professional is paramount. If language is a barrier, consider using tools like Google Translate to bridge the gap. You should always feel confident that your technician understands your needs and concerns.

Nail Salon
Photo by Gabriel Puyén

Avoid Credo Blades

Be vigilant about the tools used during your treatment. Credo blades are illegal in several states, including Maryland, and should not be used on you.

Schedule Regular Podiatrist Visits

Consult with your healthcare team, and if recommended, visit a podiatrist at least once a year. This is particularly important if you have specific foot concerns.

Keep Feet Well-Groomed

Maintaining well-trimmed nails is essential. Wear socks and shoes, or comfortable house shoes, to protect your feet from potential injuries.

Prevent Skin Issues

After washing your feet, ensure they are thoroughly dried, especially between the toes. This practice can help prevent skin breakdown and infections in these sensitive areas.

While it’s essential to engage in conversations with your healthcare providers, these tips are meant to empower and guide. Your healthcare provider’s insights on the matter can play a vital role in ensuring that every aspect of self-care, even a seemingly simple visit to the nail salon, aligns with your needs without compromising your health.

Joy A. Johnson, the distinguished recipient of the 2023 Maryland Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year award from the Small Business Administration (SBA), is a prominent figure in the Washington, DC Metropolitan beauty industry. With multiple beauty licenses, academic experience, and authorship under her belt, she is the driving force behind Nails & Faces of Joy, LLC, the parent company of Joy of Beauty®. Joy developed a line of beauty products catering to those with diabetes and compromised immune systems. The diabetic and immuno-compromised-friendly brand was inspired after watching mother beautify herself despite her cancer diagnosis. It displayed a willingness to feel good while undergoing treatment. Her mission involves educating both beauty professionals and consumers on the art of self-care while navigating health challenges like cancer and diabetes.