1. Can I disinfect my hands?
No. Your body is porous and therefore cannot be disinfected. Hand washing is the mechanical process that removes pathogens from the hands, not necessarily killing them.
2. Should I continue to shake hands with my clients?
Handshaking is a formality that we should be replaced with other means of introduction. What we know about the spread of illness, particularly viruses, is that handshaking is an express highway for things to move throughout a crowd.
3. Should I use bleach?
When bleach is used, it must be done with caution. Always read the label to ensure that it is the type of bleach that disinfects. The vast majority of bleaches are not designed for disinfection. Bleach is also highly corrosive so using it with expensive implements is ill-advised. Very few states allow for bleach in the salon.
4. Should I wear a mask?
If you work in a job where you are always in your client’s airspace such as when performing facials or doing nails, a face mask is advisable. Remember, not all face masks are made the same and the mask you are wearing is to protect your client, not to protect you from pathogens. When you are working with small particle powders, such as acrylic, getting a fine mask to prevent those particles from entering your lungs is advised.
5. With all the new illnesses out there, I am afraid…
Take that fear and give it power! Use your energy to ensure that you are performing proper infection control and doing everything you can to keep yourself healthy; a healthy person doesn’t pass anything on. Getting plenty of sleep, drinking enough fluids, eating a healthy diet and stopping smoking helps your body to be in the healthy state you need most when illnesses are around.
6. What about hand sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer does work, but it is not as good for infection control as hand washing. If your state allows for hand sanitizer, it is only for in between clients. You still must wash your hands after using the restroom, eating or smoking.