S&S Class

                                   Principles of Prevention   


 There are three steps to decontamination.  They are sanitation, disinfection, and sterilization.


Sanitation is simply cleaning by removing all visible dirt and debris. By cleaning a surface properly, the number of germs is reduced, as is the risk of infection.  A surface must be thoroughly cleaned before it can be properly disinfected.  The vast majority of contaminants and pathogens can be removed through proper cleaning.  Examples of sanitation include washing your hands or applying antiseptic (hand sanitizer) to your hands.  Other examples include sweeping, cleaning debris from surfaces or implements, or using a solvent on metal bits for an electric file.





Disinfection is the second step of decontamination. Disinfection is the process that kills most, but not necessarily all, microorganisms on non-living surfaces.  This is extremely effective in controlling microorganisms on surfaces such as shears, nippers, and other multi-use tools and equipment. 




Sterilization is the complete elimination of all microbial life, including spores, and is necessary only when surgical implements cut into vascular layers of the body.  Methods of sterilization include high-pressure steam or dry heat autoclaves, and some chemicals.  Estheticians must sterilize reusable needles and probes that lance the skin, but it is best to use pre-sterilized disposable items for these procedures.  Since surgical procedures are not performed in salons, sterilization of salon tools and equipment is not necessary.