There are a number of things you can do to help prevent nail fungus and infections, says the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
The society offers the following tips:
- Purchase your own tools for use in nail salon procedures. Infectious particles can be transmitted on tools such as emery boards, which cannot be sterilised.
- Ask about the sanitation standards of nail salons. How do they clean their equipment and how often? How often do they change the filters in the foot massages?
- Keep your toenails trimmed, clean and neat. Keeping your nails healthy helps prevent the spread of infection and helps your overall health.
- Make an annual visit to a dermasurgeon to have your skin and nails checked for early signs of illness or problems.
- Don't have your cuticles cut during salon procedures. If too much of the cuticle is cut back during a manicure, the cuticle can be separated from the nail, and infectious agents can get into the exposed area.
- Don't shave your legs before they're exposed to circulating water in a pedicure spa. Nicks and cuts from shaving can be infected by bacteria in inadequately cleaned pedicure spas.
- Don't ignore infections. If there's redness or soreness after a procedure, it may be a sign of an infection. See your dermasurgeon.
- Only go to licensed, trained professionals. Each manicurist should have a state-issued cosmetology license that is current and visibly displayed.
- (HealthDayNews, August 2006)
Nailing down healthy nails