Nail Salon Injuries – Cuts, Burns, and Infections

February 17, 2022

Nail salons serve thousands of customers throughout Georgia each day.  Most salons provide a safe and enjoyable experience by following the health and safety regulations of the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology.  However, many salons ignore these regulations, which puts the health and safety of their customers at risk.

Personal injuries, illness, and even death can occur when a nail salon employs unlicensed staff, uses banned or unsafe products, or fails to clean, disinfect, and sterilize its equipment.  The most common nail salon injuries are cuts, chemical burns, and infections.

Cuts, Gashes, or Wounds From Manicure or Pedicure

Health and safety regulations forbid nail technicians from using any tool that is designed to remove layers of skin.  Illegal tools include graters, credo blades, cutters, scrapers, or any razor-edged callus shaver.  These tools are illegal because they are likely to inflict cuts, gashes, and other wounds to the skin, which may lead to injury, infections, and scarring.

Infection or Illness from Unclean / Unsanitary Salon

Bacteria and fungus can be transferred from one customer to another when nail salon equipment is not properly cleaned, disinfected, or sterilized.  Infections can cause a range of health problems, from relatively minor illnesses to life-threatening infections like staphylococcus.  The risk of infection may increase in salons that employ unlicensed nail technicians who haven’t been how trained to clean and disinfect salon equipment.

The State Board of Cosmetology has provided basic requirements for cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing nail salon equipment. Tools designed to be used more than once, such as clippers, tweezers, files made from metal or glass, and cuticle nippers or pushers, should be thoroughly cleaned and fully immersed in a disinfectant solution for at least ten (10) minutes after use.

Equipment used to hold water, such as pedicure sinks, bowls, basins, and whirlpool spas, should be cleaned with a chelating soap or detergent and disinfected for at least fifteen (15) minutes.

Tools designed for single use should never be re-used.  Single-use tools include porous foot files, pedicure slippers, disposable nail files, and toe separators.

Chemical Burns from Callus Remover, Creams, and Other Products

A nail technician should be familiar with every product applied to a customer’s nails or skin.  This is important because some products, such as callus remover, contain harmful chemicals that can cause serious burns to your skin.  A chemical burn should not happen during a manicure or pedicure, but may occur when a callus remover, cream, or other product is applied the wrong way.

You should not have any cuts, wounds, infections, illnesses, or burns from a manicure, pedicure, or any other service from a nail salon.  If you’ve been injured by a nail salon, consider discussing your injuries with an attorney experienced in nail salon injuries.


How do I know if my nail salon is safe?

Beauty salons and nail salons are inspected by the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers.  Inspectors prepare reports and document any violations or problems found in the salon.  These reports can viewed on the Board’s website

A salon is required to post its most recent inspection report in plain sight.  A salon must also post the license of every nail technician, and a copy of the Board’s health, safety, and sanitation regulations.

How do I report a  nail salon safety violation?

Nail salons are regulated by the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers.  If you witness an unsanitary salon or other violation, you may file a consumer complaint by visiting the Board’s webpage at

I was harmed by a nail salon.  What should I do next?

Obtain medical care for your injuries as soon as possible. After receiving medical care, seek legal advice by contacting an attorney who is familiar with nail salon injuries.  Take photographs of your injuries, including any cuts, burns, wounds, and infections.  Keep up with all medical appointments and medications prescribed by your doctor.