Nail salons seem to be as common as fast food chains these days. They’re everywhere. But beware.

While most nail salons follow strict sanitation guidelines, you should check to make sure that the salon, the manicure stations, the footbaths, and the tools are clean and that the technicians wash their hands between clients.  In fact, it’s not a bad idea for those of you who get frequent manicures and pedicures to bring your own tools to the salon.

Here are a few precautionary tips from the American Academy of Dermatology:
  •  Don’t let a nail technician cut or push back your cuticle. It may allow an infection to develop.
  •  Do not wear artificial nails to cover up nail problems as they may make them worse. Artificial nails are not recommended for people who are prone to fungal infections or have brittle nails. For people with healthy nails, artificial nails can be fine as long as they are not worn continuously.
  •  Shave your lower legs after getting a pedicure, not before. That means not shaving your lower legs for at least 24 hours before you get a pedicure. If you nick yourself while shaving, a pedicure could put you at risk for an infection.
  •  If you have itching or burning or any type of allergic reaction to a nail cosmetic, see a dermatologist.