I am a nail technician who does a lot of pedicures. My hands are constantly in dirty water. Is it safe for me to wear acrylics? Am I more likely to develop a nail infection?
Nail infections should occur very rarely, regardless of the conditions that hands find themselves in. When nail infections occur, it’s generally because of improper preparation, application, or maintenance and is certainly not caused by performing pedicures. If artificial nail enhancements of any type are properly applied and maintained, there is virtually no risk of developing an infection from water in pedicure tubs. Infections develop because either the nail surface is not properly prepared before applying the product or lifting occurs and bacteria seeps underneath the enhancement. Lifting can easily be prevented by properly preparing the nail plate, applying the enhancement product correctly, and then properly maintaining the enhancements on a regular basis.— Doug Schoon is vice president of science and technology for Creative Nail Design (Vista, Calif.).