Ever questioned those tools they use in Nail Salons?
Ever think “I hope those clippers are clean”?
I was asked by a patient about the instruments we use, our sterilisation practices and what the standards for podiatrists are. Not surprisingly this is a pretty common question so I thought to myself - Let's set the record straight.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to sterilisation & even more when it comes to what's safe to have used on your feet.
If you find yourself a bit embarrassed by your feet and have assumed the safest way to get rid of that thickened skin or nails treated is at a "Nail Salon" then think again.
Some common misconceptions are…
- If the packet of instruments was opened up in front of me it was probably sterilised. Sadly not.
- But the pink to black indicator or sticker used on the packet means it's been sterilised…? It only means it’s touched heat, like say a Microwave or warm water.
- UV light cabinets, microwave ovens, pasteurisation, disinfectants, pressure cookers, boiling and ultrasonic cleaners do not sterilise!
- If the instruments are wet inside packets - they are not sterilised.
Steam sterilisation is widely used as the steam under pressure provides fast destructive power to kill microorganisms and their spores.
- Instruments need to be heated and steamed to 134℃ for 3.5min
- There are 6 classes of sterilisation
- Podiatry standards guidelines are 4 and 5
- Class 6 emulators are designed for use in steam sterilizers & best for Blood Borne Diseases.
Why we sterilise?
To stop cross-contamination of bacteria, fungus and disease between patients as well as blood-borne infections.
When should we sterilise?
Instruments should be individual per patient before being cleaned and sterilised.
How are we certain our instruments are sterilised?
In addition to having our autoclave serviced & validated regularly. We do 3 tests :
- On a weekly basis, we do a leak test; this tests seals in the autoclave.
- Every day we do a B & D test - the "Bowie-Dick" or Dynamic air removal test. This is a standard operational test pack to demonstrate proper air removal of the sterilisation packets.
- Finally, a Class 6 Emulator batch control test which monitors steam sterilisation - this is put in with every batch to ensure autoclave reaches time, steam dryness and temperature proper sterilisation standards.
Each batch is then given a number that correlates to the cycle - we then take note of that batch number and when a patient comes in the cycle number is recorded to patients notes for every patient receiving a "Medical Pedicure" treatment.
Why is a “Medical Pedicure” the safest way to have your feet treated & looking their best?
You don't need a referral for a "Medical Pedicure" and they are extremely popular with both men and women and can be used to treat anything from...
- Thick skin and nails
- Fungal nails
- Damaged and or weakened nails
- Dry skin
- Warts; plantar warts; verrucae
- Tinea; athletes foot
- Ingrown toenails
- Yellow nails
- Cracked heels
We hope to see you soon.