handling of a contaminated lancet. There is currently
no vaccine for hepatitis C.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This
disease destroys the immune system and can lead to
acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS). As of 2012,
the Center for Disease Control stated that 1. 2 million
Americans were infected with HIV. Transmission can
occur through percutaneous breaks in the skin or
mucous membranes, along with improper handling of
Suppuration (i.e. pus). It is important to note that
infections and disease can be spread by the bacteria
found in pus. Always use gloves and tissues following
extractions, and spray a topical disinfectant afterwards.
If the skin continues to bleed or suppurate, do not follow
with facial massage. Be sure to implement a new pair of
gloves if you continue with a massage.
STANDARD PRECAUTIONS IN THE TREATMENT ROOM
Before, I never gave much thought to why following
certain rules was so important. Weren’t the two gloves
enough? I was not coming full circle with standard
precautions. Although I had been practicing for 10 years,
I cannot say that I was fully trained to operate that way.
I had to open my eyes and continue education to see the
bigger picture. I know I cannot be the only one.
How can we be better? Start with the Infection
Control Basics, but continue with the standard
precautions, as outlined below.
Barrier tape. Use barrier tape as an inexpensive
way to reduce the spread of microorganisms. Apply it
before your first client and change between each client
after sanitizing your room anywhere your contaminated
hands may touch; these locations include your loupe
light, steamer handle, power switches, cabinet knobs,
the adjustment lever on your esthetic bed and chair, etc.
Eyewear. Work in the field long enough, and you will
run into a few instances when “using your loupe light as
a shield” fails. An extracted pustule contains blood and
bacteria and, with projection, is well within your range
for contacting disease. Protective eyewear is a smart
and inexpensive investment.
Protective clothing. You want to wear at least
a smock regardless of dress code because it acts
as a barrier between your street clothes and
microorganisms. Liquid resistant options that cover
your arms offer the best protection. Wash it at work to
avoid bringing germs home with you.
Gloves. I hope today we are all wearing gloves (on
each hand) for all necessary procedures. Gloves must
be removed by pinching the center of one glove to pull
off, crumple in hand and remove the other glove without
touching the outside surface, and turning inside out to
immediately throw in the garbage. Avoid latex options
due to allergy contraindications.
Surgical masks. Consider these during services you
see fit, or when a client is unsure if they have allergies or a
cold. If you suspect a client may be experiencing symptoms
of an illness that they will not disclose, or are coughing
and sneezing, it would be wise to use a mask and gloves for
o Correct handwashing is imperative.
o Gloves should be used whenever
coming in contact with blood or
bodily fluids. Disposables should be
implemented whenever possible.
o Working area and tools should
be sanitized before and after
o Utilize your sharps boxes.