19 December 2008

Eight steps to healthy nails

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent nail fungus and infections, says the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.


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)

Read more:
Home pedicure
Nailing down healthy nails


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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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