Q&A

Can working on an infected nail be harmful to me?

Q.

I am taking medications that affect my immune system. Can working on an infected nail release spores or other infectious material that could be inhaled to cause problems for later?

A.

Although rare, yes, potentially infectious spores may be released while filing on an active infection and these may be inhaled by the nail tech and could result in a lung infection. This is only one of the many reasons for not working on infected fingers, toes, or feet and why it is so important to get a written release from the client’s doctor stating the condition is not infectious before providing services to the affected area.

Believe it or not, clients will tell you they’ve seen a doctor when they haven’t and will swear the doctor said, “it’s nothing.” Their word is not a medical release and this will not protect you, other clients, or the salon. The doctor’s release must be in writing and must clearly state that the condition is not contagious and that a pedicure or manicure can be safely performed. Otherwise, you should refuse to provide the service for the good of all concerned.

— Doug Schoon is chief scientific advisor for CND. You can find more nail-related info at www.facebook.com/doug.schoon.

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