California Travel Tips

California Beach Bummer Summer: Things That Can Go Wrong

Published on: April 29, 2013


Summer’s coming and millions of visitors and tourists to California’s luxury resorts, mountains and coastal beaches are getting ready. From the latest fish pedicure (not really legal in California but you can get them in other places along the Pacific Rim) to bikini waxes, Brazilian waxes, haircuts, salon tanning, body piercing to acupuncture, most the time things go just as planned, but dangers lurk in each and every treatment. That’s life! Trouble is, it can ruin your vacation plans and in rare instance, can even ruin your life. So here’s the dirty low-down on what can go wrong:

Skin infections are the main problem from lack of sterile equipment. Fish pedicures in which the fish eat dead skin on your feet are extremely popular in Asian culture and countries, while the U.S. doesn’t think they’re sanitary enough. Just last month an Arizona spa was told they can no longer offer fish pedicures. Regular pedicures can cause infections when salons have failed to thoroughly clean equipment.

Infection from a bikini wax can cause a fever, chills, pain and cellulitis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the skin and the underlying tissue. Waxing can also pull off tiny pieces of the skin’s outermost layer, creating a portal through which bacteria can enter the body.

After acupuncture, you might have soreness, minor bleeding or bruising at the needle sites. In rare instances, organ injury can occur if needles are pushed in too deeply, puncturing an internal organ — particularly the lungs. This is an extremely rare complication in the hands of an experienced practitioner. Infections from reused needle could expose you to diseases such as hepatitis. The most common problem is needles being left in the patient for longer than prescribed, leading to dizziness and fainting. Some customers have found needles left in their bodies after leaving the practioner’s office.

You can contract a fungal infection from contaminated scissors or clippers/shavers at a salon.

While the cleaner used is supposed to be anti-virus, customers can get rashes, and viruses contracted from tanning beds that haven’t been disinfected. The exposure in a tanning bed is a Class I carcinogenic that can lead to cancer.

Infection of the site is possible and the risk for infection increases if you have other health risks. Infection of the mouth or lips may cause speech, chewing, or swallowing problems or swelling that can block the throat. Infection of a nipple can scar the breast tissue and limit the ability to breast-feed later and infections from piercing can be potentially serious or life-threatening and involve the entire body (systemic). If a sterile technique is not used, there is a chance of spreading many potentially life-threatening diseases through piercing. The most common diseases transmitted are hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Other diseases that can be spread from piercing include tuberculosis, syphilis, and HIV. Blood infections (sepsis) can occur if a sterile technique is not used.

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