Q&A

I have a new client coming in and he told us he has athlete's foot. How should I deal with this? Can I work on his feet?

Q.

I have a new client coming in and he told us he has athlete's foot.  How should I deal with this?  Can I work on his feet?

A.

Advise him to seek professional medical treatment for the condition and reschedule the appointment after the condition has been resolved. Nail professionals are only allowed to service healthy nails and skin free from visible signs of infection or other medical conditions. It is against federal law for nail technicians to perform salon services on a client’s feet if they appear to be visibly unhealthy. Nail professionals are not allowed to diagnosis, treat, or prescribe treatment for any unhealthy medical condition and this is true for all 50 states. No matter what level of training a nail professional may possess, without a medical or podiatry license, nail professionals are not allowed to perform any services on unhealthy feet. All that can legally be done is to inform the client he has a visibly unhealthy condition on his feet and then direct him to see a qualified medical professional for diagnosis and to receive any required treatment.

The only exception would be nail professionals working under the direct supervision of a licensed doctor or pediatrist in their medical office, and that licensed medical person is assuming full responsibility for the patient’s care.  Clients can’t give nail professionals permission to break this federal law. Not only can the professional lose her license and irreparably harm the reputation of the salon, improper actions could result in legal action against the salon and nail professional. -- Dough Schoon is chief scientific advisor for CND

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