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Polished at a Price

Nail salons can be unsanitary

Customers treating themselves to a manicure or pedicure could be getting more than they bargained for from their local nail salons.

Foot baths and manicure implements can harbor dangerous bacteria, according to this ABC News article.

More than 100 women were infected with a tuberculosis-type bacterium when they went to the Fancy Nails salon in Watsonville, Calif., reports the article. The bacteria cause painful, slow-healing sores that leave dark purple scars even after they're healed. Government officials discovered that the owner of the salon wasn't cleaning the salon's foot baths properly, and all tested positive for the bacteria.

ABC investigated 27 salons across the country and found bacteria at almost all of them. Most of the problems could be easily fixed. For example, nail files and buffers are supposed to be thrown out after every customer, but ABC News found these implements were often reused.

This HealthDay article says infection and allergic reactions are the biggest problems at nail salons.

So, how do you know if your salon is up to par? The ABC News article recommends you check for a visibly posted license from the state. Also, look around: if the salon doesn't look clean, your chances of infection could be greater.

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