The perils of a manicure


Usually I am completely spoilt and I have a my own in-clinic manicurist :) Whom I trust and who uses only the most sterile of instruments. But last week I was in a mad pre-Christmas rush, as was my darling Amelia so I had to swing by a local nail salon to get a quick polish. It reminded me of of a few things.

As a dermatologist I see OODLES of fungal nail infections. These mostly come via transmission in warm watery environments such as swimming pools, gym showers and warm waters in pedicures and manicures.

Fungus once in the nail need treatment with an oral antifungal tablet for at least 3 months and monitoring of liver function

My concern when i had my nails done last week was not so much around the warm water - as I usually totally avoid any form of manicure and pedicure - I just go for the polish - is that instruments were not sterilized between clients. Now , Ill be honest, I have no evidence that the instruments can transmit fungal infections, but it seems a no-brainer that that any implement that comes into contact should be washed between clients. Maybe its the surgeon in me!

What concerned me most was the nail file - it had clearly been used on multiple people before me without being cleaned. Whats more, the practitioner did not wear gloves!

The final alarming thing was that even though I asked specifically for a non-UV, only LED lamp to set my nails (I somehow got roped into Shellac which I usually TOTALLY avoid) the lamp said UV-LED! Now surely there is some UV in that (hence the name!)

There have been reports of nail/cuticle/hand skin cancer from the use of UV (which is usually UVA) in some setting lamps. Friends, please make sure the lamp is LED or if not pop on some sunscreen!

Now I am sure not all nail salons are the same, and admittedly i hardly ever go to them, so cannot generalist these findings. But at least take your own instruments for piece of mind :)

Amelia, see you next week!

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