Q&A

How do I handle my one client who gets greenies no matter what I do?

Q.

I have a client who gets greenies (pseudomonas) no matter what I do. I have tried using double dehydrator and double primer. I have even skipped washing her hands for fear that the moisture is too much for the nail bed. She gets them every time she gets a fill. There is no lifting around the edges of her nail, just an air pocket where the stain has formed. I do not have this issue with any other clients. Any suggestions?

A.

Sounds like this client has an unresolved infection. By law nail technicians are not allowed to provide services on infected or diseased nails. Nail technicians are licensed to work only on healthy fingernails and toenails. Should a client develop what appears to be an infection or any other unhealthy looking medical condition, such as described here, all services should be discontinued until (a) the condition has been fully resolved or (b) a written release is provided by the treating medical doctor verifying that the condition is not contagious and that the condition is unlikely to be adversely affected by nail services.

Nail technicians who attempt to solve infections or other medical conditions on the hands or feet are in violation of the federal laws that prohibit anyone but a licensed medical doctor from providing any medical diagnosis, treatments, or prescriptions. Should a client develop an active nail infection, the nail technician’s responsibility is to inform the client of the unhealthy condition and then direct her to a medical doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment, if required. Telling the client she has a nail infection is considered “diagnosis of a medical disease” and is not allowed. Providing any services designed to eliminate the suspected infection is considered “treatment of a medical condition” and advising the client to use a particular cream, lotion, soak, etc., is considered “prescribing a medical treatment,” neither of which are allowed.

To recap, nail technicians are not legally allowed to diagnosis, treat, or prescribe treatment for nail infections. Doing so places the client, nail technician, and salon in a risky position that could lead to a worsening of the medical condition, potential legal action, and possibly the loss of nail technician’s professional license. 

— Doug Schoon is chief scientific advisor for CND.

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