Dying to Be Beautiful? The Health Risks of Cosmetic Procedures
And while in the right hands experts say most beauty treatments are safe, in the wrong hands the trade-off can be steep.
"It's an unknown risk because you're dependant upon the technical
ability and integrity of the person performing the treatment - and the
types of organisms you may be exposed to can run the gamut from
bacteria to viruses, to other types of organisms, like fungi, even
micro bacteria related to the tuberculosis organism," cautions Phillip
Tierno, PhD, director of clinical microbiology at NYU Medical Center in
New York City.
And in some cases, says Tierno, exposures can be deadly. This was
the case recently in Fort Worth, Texas, where a wrongful death suit
claimed a woman died after contracting antibiotic-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus following a pedicure at a local nail salon.
This incident, says Tierno, parallels another, even more widespread
calamity that occurred when 110 people who received pedicures at a
Santa Cruz, Calif. nail salon contracted a potentially dangerous
infection causing treatment-resistant skin abscesses and boils.