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 appointments.
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 recommended.
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 medical journal.