Nailed it!


There is just an immediate girly feeling that comes with fixing your nails. Right ladies? I know for a fact that my nails react and are easily irritated by artificial nails, but it is not the case for a million other women out there. In that light while you want to look pretty, fix your nails and use your hands more than any part of your body, there are probable infections that come with even the prettiest manicures. The usual culprits of an infection are not taking your own tools along to the nail shop, not cleaning them in alcohol often, allowing sharp objects around your cuticle region, and opting for ultra violet rays to dry out your nail polish rather than natural air.



Some basic ways in which an infection can be contacted is through biting nails with ones teeth, deep cuts, puncture, aggressive manicuring and trimming. Here are some infections and the environments that can promote them:

// Paronychia: Symptoms and signs of paronychia include redness and swelling of the area next to the fingernail. A visible collection of pus may be seen under the skin and nail. This fluid may be leaking out of the wound. The area will be tender and painful to the touch. The drainage from the area is usually a cloudy white-yellow color.

// Herpetic whitlow: Symptoms of herpetic whitlow include redness and tenderness of the fingertip area. A burning or itching sensation may be present in the area. There may be mild swelling but not as extensive as in the felon. There may be a single or many open wounds in the area affected. These open wounds often occur in clusters after the formation of a small blister-like lesion. The fluid in these lesions is usually clear in appearance but may be slightly cloudy. The affected individual may also have a low-grade fever and have swollen and tender lymph nodes in the area.

// Cellulitis: Symptoms of cellulitis include skin area redness and warmth to the touch. The area may be slightly swollen and tender. This is usually a superficial infection so the deep structures should not be involved. The motion of the fingers and hand should not be difficult or painful. If painful or difficult, this may indicate a deep space infection of some type.

// Infectious flexor tenosynovitis: Four major signs often are found with infectious flexor tenosynovitis; first is tenderness over the flexor or palm side of the finger, this pain is found over the tendons in the finger. Second is uniform swelling of the finger. Third is pain on extending or straightening of the finger. Fourth, the finger will be held in a slightly flexed or partially bent position.Felon: Symptoms of a felon include a swollen and painful fingertip. The swelling usually develops over several days and is located in the pad area of the fingertip. The area will have a throbbing pain and be painful to the touch. The area is usually red, and a visible collection of pus may be seen under the skin. The swollen area may have a portion that feels soft as if it contains fluid. As the swelling continues, the area may become tense or hard to the touch.

// Nail Fungus-  be sure to ask how often the salon sanitizes the bowl, and if it was sanitized before you put your feet into the foot bath. Otherwise, you could end up with a nasty fungus -- yes, like mold, mildew only on your feet!

// Warts - warts are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), which is contagious and can cause warts on your hands or feet. So, make sure you instruct your nail technician to use a new pumice stone before touching your fingers and toes. Also make sure they wear gloves.

// Respiratory problems - salons use chemicals, and exposure to chemicals can create respiratory irritation and trigger asthma. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor calls them the “toxic trio,” also know as toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate. Ask your technician if they are using these products.

// UV Rays - Salons use small lamps to dry your nails which emit UV rays. In small doses, the risk may be slight, but if you have your nails done regularly over a long period of time, significant damage can occur, such as skin cancer. 

// MRSA - This a deadly staph infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Symptoms include swelling, redness, cracked skin and pus. Make sure your technician sterilizes equipment before using them on you.



This article is not to scare you away from your good nail time with your girls, but to let you know the dangers involved in even merely stick-on nails. So simple advice is go get your own nail set and take adequate breaks between manicures, okay?