What Do I Need To Know About Nail Health?

Many of us enjoy treating ourselves to regular manicures and pedicures. It is relaxing and makes you feel pampered, especially since the rest of your week is busy with things like meal planning, driving the kids to/from activities AND working your strenuous job. The nail salon is rarely thought of as a risk to your health but here are a few things to consider when scheduling your next mani/pedi.

Ingrown toenails can occur from improperly cutting the nail. Be sure you have your nails cut straight across and avoid cutting the nail in a curve. If the nail is curved, the nail may cut into your skin while it grows out and this may cause a skin infection. Toenail fungus can also occur if you do not have sterilized tools to cut your nails and cuticle. Make sure the tools your manicurist uses have come from a sterilized package.

Gel manicures are a recent addition to making your nails beautiful. There is no doubt that gel manicures produce a shine like no other which is long lasting. However, what risk am I putting myself at by indulging in this luxury? The polymer used to make the nail color last is similar to that used in dental bonding. UV light is used to “cure” the polymer. The UV light, similar to UV rays we are all familiar with in the sun, can increase your risk for skin damage and if exposed enough may increase your risk of skin cancer. Even though this exposure is limited for a routine gel manicure, it may be wise to decrease this UV exposure by using sunscreen on your hands prior to your manicure and also spacing out the frequency of receiving gel manicures. In addition to UV exposure to your hands with gel manicures, the removal process can be harsh. Your gel manicure is usually soaked in acetone and the excess pieces are scraped off of your natural nail. This process can dry your nail/skin as well as cause thinning of your natural nail.

Have I stopped getting gel manicures? I have not...but I will definitely decrease the frequency of my gel manicures and use them only for special occasions.

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