Beauty Treatments and Hepatitis C Risk

by Yumhee Park Content Producer

When you are living with hepatitis C, anything involving needles or some sort of blood can make you wary of spreading the disease to others. Here are the hepatitis C risks associated with four common beauty treatments.

Manicures and pedicures

Adequate nail care requires all sorts of tools to clip, buff, and file nails down to perfect shapes. These tools, however, can cause minor bleeding and if tools are not properly disinfected, the risk of disease transmission can occur. The level of risk has not been studied in the U.S., but in some areas of the world, acute cases of hepatitis B and C have occurred.

Permanent makeup

People on the go who don’t want to apply makeup every day can opt for permanent makeup, which is a form of tattooing that involves permanent eyeliner, eyebrow shaping, and lipstick, among other things. However, if tools are not properly sterilized, there is a risk of hepatitis C transmission, as well as other blood borne diseases. Here are some cases reported in 2003.


Many people with wrinkles have turned to botox injections. Although this procedure has become fairly common, that doesn’t mean it can be done by anyone who owns a spa. More and more often technicians instead of medical professionals are administering botox shots at spas. Without proper sterilization, that can increase the spread of hepatitis C and other diseases.


While most licensed, commercial tattooing facilities have shown little or no risk of hepatitis C because they need to follow strict regulations, unregulated or poorly regulated tattooing facilities can be at risk for spreading the virus. It’s best to play it safe and do research ahead of time on the sterilization practices of the business you choose. One-time use needles are also preferable.

Yumhee Park
Meet Our Writer
Yumhee Park

Yumhee Park is a former content producer for HealthCentral and helped bring important stories of health advocates to life as a member of the Live Bold, Live Now multimedia team.