72 January 2018 © Skin Inc. www.SkinInc.com
the entire treatment while avoiding: performing a hand
massage, utilizing a steam machine and shaking their
hand when you do not ask them to reschedule.
Intake form. The intake form is such a powerful,
and sometimes seldom utilized, tool. I could go on and
on about how to create the perfect intake form, but it
would be wise to incorporate rescheduling guidelines
for infection control purposes.
Ask clients if they are experiencing the following:
• Cold sores;
• Symptoms of a communicable illness;
• Sunburn; or
• Skin disease such as MRSA.
If the client is experiencing one of the above, or
conditions such as ringworm, pink eye or certain
forms of dermatitis, they must be rescheduled. Have
a statement at the bottom of the intake that notes that
clients must be rescheduled with the aforementioned
conditions. Never put yourself in a situation of
spreading disease to yourself or others.
In the case of a cold sore, HSV- 1 can be spread
elsewhere on a client, including their eyes, and can
spread to you through percutaneous breaks in the skin
causing herpetic whitlow, which is herpes on the hands.
If you are experiencing any of these conditions yourself,
you must stay home to reduce the risk of transmitting it
Proper sterilization. Anything that penetrates skin
or encounters blood is considered a critical item and
needs to be sterilized. Sterilization is the killing or
removal of all microorganisms by use of an autoclave
or dry heat sterilizer. Critical items may include
microdermabrasion tips, scissors and tweezers. If you
are not sterilizing these, you risk cross-contamination
Disinfection reduces the number of pathogenic
organisms by use of an Environmental Protection
Agency-registered disinfectant and should be used
on semi-critical items. Liquid disinfectants and 70%
isopropyl alcohol do not substitute an autoclave.
BE SAFE, NOT SORRY
I challenge you to challenge others. Are your
coworkers, workplaces and local schools implementing
standard precautions? Check to see if they, and yourself,
are following these guidelines and are currently OSHA
compliant. Be sure that your workplace is providing
you with the proper safety tools, such as gloves and
disinfectants, to protect yourself from illness or injury,
and be mindful of your sanitation practices to ensure
a safe work environment for yourself and all who come
into contact with you. You will feel complete about
your career when you are aware of this and spread the
awareness to others.
Erika Lauren is a licensed esthetician and
airbrush tan specialist of 10 years. She is
also an active member in the spa industry
as a writer and trainer. Contact her at
All critical items should be sterilized not disinfected.