-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Customers in nail salons and
barbershops may be at risk for hepatitis infection if the tools
used are improperly cleaned, a new U.S. study suggests.
While regulations for disinfecting instruments such as nail
files and brushes, finger bowls, foot basins, razors, clippers and
scissors may be enough to prevent hepatitis transmission, there is
no guarantee that workers will follow those rules, the researchers
They analyzed a Virginia Department of Health report on the risk
of hepatitis infection in nail salons and barber shops and were
scheduled to present their findings Monday at the annual scientific
meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Washington,
"Whether there is sufficient compliance with disinfection requirements is an important variable in the safety of salon and barbershop services from a public health perspective," Dr. David A. Johnson, of Eastern Virginia Medical School, said in an ACG news release.
"The risk of transmission of infectious disease, particularly hepatitis B and C, in personal care settings is significantly understudied in the United States," he added.
The evaluation of hepatitis infection risk among patients in
nail salons and barber shops was prompted by a reported case of
acute hepatitis C that was "clearly related to a manicure/pedicure
treatment," Johnson said.
The disease, which causes swelling of the liver, is serious and
sometimes lasts a lifetime.
Customers can protect themselves by asking whether a nail salon
or barbershop is properly cleaning and disinfecting tools and
equipment, Johnson said. He also recommended bringing your own
clippers, razors, nail files and other equipment to your
Recommendations to reduce the risk of hepatitis infection
include proper training for nail salon and barbershop workers,
education about how hepatitis and other blood-borne infections are
transmitted, and an emphasis on the principles of good hygiene and
disinfection. More stringent requirements governing personal
hygiene, storage, disinfection and inspection are also
Currently, there are no federal government infection-control
guidelines for the prevention of hepatitis infections in nail
salons or barbershops.
Research presented at meetings has not been subjected to the
rigorous scrutiny required for publication in a peer-reviewed
The U.S. National Institutes of Health explains how to
protect yourself from hepatitis.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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