I recently read some good articles on how to make sure that your manicure or pedicure is safe. This second article was based on information from a podiatrist and nail technicians: 12 Things Your Nail Salon Doesn’t Want You to Know.
About once a month I treat a patient for a problem related to a pedicure or manicure. A frequent issue I see is recurrent staph folliculitis, when hair follicles become infected with bacteria–getting into the tissue through any entry point in the skin like a scrape or cut. This is why it is important not to shave your legs right before a pedicure.
Another rash that can lead to pustules is pseudomonas folliculitis, also known as “hot tub” folliculitis. As you might guess, this is related to foot tubs used for pedicures that have not been sanitized properly.
A more serious infection I’ve seen from mani/pedis is MRSA. It is a bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) that is resistant to penicillins and other antibiotics and can lead to more dangerous infections.
I often see patients with abscesses (paronychia) around the nail when cuticles have been clipped.
By far the most common issue patients come in with is nail fungus (onychomycosis). Viral warts are also prevalent, as is the viral infection molluscum contagiosum.
All these potential infections are why you should do your homework when you choose a place to have your nails done.
Once you’ve selected a salon, don’t be afraid to ask questions–about the salon’s sterilization methods of tools and inquire about the training and licensing of nail technicians. And, it wouldn’t hurt to ask at a salon you’ve frequented for years.