CA-MRSA (community acquired MRSA) infections may develop following a visit to a beauty salon, nail bar, tattoo parlour or body piercing studio. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a highly contagious bacterium, that may be transmitted via touch, surfaces, or airborne particles, and carried on equipment and instruments used during beauty treatments. The presence of the bacteria in any public environment is normally indicative of a general lack of hygiene.
Where a person has developed MRSA following a trip to a beauty salon or similar commercial establishment, they should seek legal advice about claiming compensation from the owner or occupier of the premises and their insurers. Poor hygiene or negligently performed procedures can both provide legal grounds for making such claims.
The MRSA bacterium can enter the body through a tiny cut to the skin or even an open pore. One of the most common beauty treatments during which a person is exposed to the risk of contracting MRSA is waxing, particularly delicate bikini and Brazilian waxing procedures (it is estimated that around half of all cases of genital infection involve the MRSA bacterium). Poor technique on the part of a beauty technician or cosmetologist can involve removing the waxing strips too fast, tearing the skin, and exposing the customer to the risk of infection. Beauty technicians may also ‘double dip’ wax; using the same stick over and over again, passing bacteria from the pot to the skin and back again, and possibly infecting clothing and surrounding areas.
Jetted foot baths are another fixture at beauty salons and health spas that are known to be perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, and therefore the transmission of MRSA. If beauty salon workers fail to regularly clean and disinfect foot spas, bacteria may easily be passed from one customer to the next. The main symptom of CA-MRSA infecting the skin is the development of boils, which may grow to a considerable size and require hospital attention. MRSA can have devastating consequences if the bacteria spreads to other areas of the body. It is estimated that around three thousand people are still killed by different types and strains of MRSA every year in the UK, despite high profile campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of the bacteria and preventing its development.
To prevent MRSA outbreaks at beauty salons, it is essential that treatment rooms, fixtures, equipment and instruments are properly cleaned and disinfected on a routine basis. Wax sticks for example showed by changed regularly and disposed of in a sanitary manne. Salon owners have a legal duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure that safe working procedures are followed by staff, aimed at eliminating the risk of an MRSA outbreak. Failures in these areas may cause an MRSA infection to spread to one or more persons. In some documented cases, infections contracted originally at beauty salons have spread rapidly to family, friends and colleagues. If you have developed an MRSA infection following a trip to a salon, spa or other commercial establishment, contact our specialist solicitors today for free, confidential advice.