People are really loving the resurgence of the OG barber shops, but is it really the cleanest thing?
I mean, you certainly aren’t going to get Sweeny Todd’d at the barbers, but there are definitely some things to consider when going to a Barber Shop, including watching out for specific infections you can contract when going to one.
This is not to scare any men away from going to barber shops (because let’s face it, “Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man” doesn’t just pertain to clothing), but rather to keep you informed and vigilant if you see these things or can prevent them.
An infection that can come from improperly sanitized blades, Folliculitis looks a lot like a pimple. How you get it, is when a hair follicle gets infected, and it can become sore and crusty, and most commonly filled with pus. Treatment all depends on how severe the affected area is. According to the Mayo Clinic, some treatments include creams, pills, and soaps or shampoos to battle the infection. How to avoid this? Just make sure you go to a reputable barber that properly cleans their instruments after working on someone.
This one is super scary, in my opinion! Called Ringworm of the Scalp, the superficial fungal infection can have long-lasting effects if not properly taken care of. According to Healthline, “Ringworm of the scalp is not really a worm, but a fungal infection. It gets the name ringworm because the fungus makes circular marks on the skin, often with flat centers and raised borders. Also called Tinea capitis, this infection affects your scalp and hair shafts, causing small patches of itchy, scaly skin.” It can also lead to spots that are draining pus, and can have permanent effects of scarring and hair loss if not treated. A doctor will typically prescribe an anti-fungal medication. How do you contract this? Mostly from unsanitary towels or unsanitized combs.
You typically wouldn’t think about getting Herpes at the barber, but if you’re getting any waxing done, beware the double-dipper. Men’s Health quotes Anthony M. Rossi, MD, dermatologist at Dermatologic, Mohs, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery: “There have been incidents of transmitting herpes or bacterial infections from waxing. Make sure that the waxer is not double dipping any applicator sticks while doing it or using roll on wax that has been used on someone else.”
Though you typically hear children having cases of Impetigo, it can be contracted by adults as well. Any skin contact with someone who has it, has bacteria on their hands or clothes, or unsanitary towels are places that it can be picked up. “Classic signs and symptoms of impetigo involve red sores that quickly rupture, ooze for a few days and then form a yellowish-brown crust,” according to The Mayo Clinic. They say that antibiotic ointments are the way to go to cure this bad boy, but if it doesn’t go away, the doctor may have to take a culture, because some strains have become resistant to some antibiotics.
When you pick your shop, be sure that you note whether or not you see the barbers sanitizing things or the general overall cleanliness of the shop. Also, keep in mind when you are getting work done that your barber doesn’t have any open sores or cuts on their hands that could contract bacteria for your own skin.