Could your local beauty salon put you at RISK of fungal infection? SHOCK research revealed
More than half of people that visit beauty salons in the US regularly have reported skin and fungal diseases, according to Rutgers University.
Fifty-two per cent of people visiting salons at least three times in a year reported infections.
The infections include skin rashes or nail disfigurements, researchers said.
Improperly cleaned, or re-used tools, put clients at risk of developing dermatitis, hepatitis and other viruses, they claimed.
“We found that although clients might be aware of some hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde, they often do not recognise the dangers posed by pathogens and environmental irritants,” said lead author Lindsey Milich.
“Clients should ask their stylist or nail technician about the chemical ingredients in the products being used, how they disinfect their tools and the type of ventilation system in the salon.
”People who use salon products at home should read labels and become familiar with safety precautions like wearing proper gloves or masks.”
The study, which analysed 90 hair and nail salon clients in the US, found visitors were exposed to bacteria, fungi, viruses and blood-born pathogens.
Other salon risks included exposure to ultraviolet light, respiratory irritation from poor indoor air and environmental quality, and allergic reactions to products.
More than half of clients reported skin or fungal infections.
The infections were most common among those that visited the salon at least three times within a year.
In the UK, beauty salons should be well ventilated, use good practices to avoid contact with harmful substances, and practice good hand care, according to the Health and Safety Executive.
They should also use extractor hoods, or down draught tables, for nail work, and some tasks may require personal protective equipment, including protective gloves, eye protection and aprons.
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has previously called for more regulation on nail bars.
Athlete’s foot is a common skin infection, which affects about one in six people in the UK.
The condition is caused by a fungus that grows in warm, damp areas of the skin – for example, between the toes.
Athlete’s foot can spread to the nails, and lead to a fungal nail infection.
Fungal nail infections cause the nail to discolour and become crumbly. It usually starts at the edge of the nail, and slowly spreads toward the base.