Pedicure and manicure nightmares

June 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment

A pedicure or a manicure can become a health nightmare if not done properly. A friend went to a 5-star hotel for a manicure and developed a condition called Paronychia; she suffered for 6 months and finally had to fix it surgically.

During her manicure, her cuticle and skin around the nails was constantly plucked, pushed and poked hard. There was redness around the area but no blood was seen. Bacteria entered and settled in the area in between the nail and the nail bed. There is little blood flow in this area; washing or applying anything will not reach this inaccessible area. As a result the bacteria flared up. Her finger became green with puss. No amount of anti-biotics or fungal medicine was treating this infected finger. Unfortunately India has no finger specialists. My friend finally went to a hand surgeon who removed a part of her nail and treated the infection.

Quick tips for a safe pedicure/manicure:
• Avoid pedicure/manicure 24 hours after waxing/shaving/hair removal creams as you might have unnoticed cuts through which bacteria or fungus can enter during the procedure.
• Avoid pedicure/manicure if you have cuts or bruises as microorganisms living in footbaths/hand bowls can enter through the skin and cause an infection.
• Ask the salon the duration of time they sterilize the pedicure equipment. “Some sterilizers have a 45 minute sterilization cycle, however the equipment is sterilized for only 10 minutes”, says Dr. Anuya Anil Manerkar, Mumbai based Dermatologist. Some tools cannot go into a sterilizer. If the equipment is not sterilized properly, bacteria or fungus can spread easily from one person to another through the pedicure/manicure tools. The best option is carry your own pedicure tools and clean it well after each use.
• Footbaths/hand bowls need to be cleaned and disinfected properly between each customer as warm water attracts fungus.
• Pointers are used to remove debris from the nails. However avoid unnecessary poking or pressing to clean your nails or skin around the nails to avoid injury and infections. Untrained pedicurists love to poke and prick to the point of causing us pain.
• Cuticles are a protective layer between the nail and skin that prevent the entry of bacteria and should not be cut.
• When cutting nails, cut straight across and avoid filing too deep on the sides to prevent ingrown toenails.
“Pedicure once a month is healthy but don’t overdo it by weekly pedicures”, says Behnaz Dalal, who runs her own parlour.
• People with diabetes are more prone to foot infections, especially if you are 40+.
• Days or even months after a pedicure/manicure, a bacterial, viral or fungal infections (difficult to treat) can develop. Post treatment if you notice any of the following, visit your doctor immediately:
o Pimple, bleeding, cuts, excess dryness
o Nail or area around the nail is red, swollen or painful
o Changes in the color or shape of your nails or if nail begins to lift


Entry filed under: All, Beauty, Hygiene.

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