Hygiene Key to Avoiding Nail Fungus Infections

Some spas and salons fail to practice good sanitation, so you should, group says

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SUNDAY, Aug. 6, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- There are a number of things you can do to help prevent nail fungus and infections during the hot summer months, says the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

The society offers the following tips:

  • Purchase your own tools for use in nail salon procedures. Infectious particles can be transmitted on tools such as emery boards, which cannot be sterilized.
  • Ask about the sanitation standards of nail salons. How do they clean their equipment and how often? How often do they change the filters in the foot massages?
  • Keep your toenails trimmed, clean and neat. Keeping your nails healthy helps prevent the spread of infection and helps your overall health.
  • Make an annual visit to a dermasurgeon to have your skin and nails checked for early signs of illness or problems.
  • Don't have your cuticles cut during salon procedures. If too much of the cuticle is cut back during a manicure, the cuticle can be separated from the nail, and infectious agents can get into the exposed area.
  • Don't shave your legs before they're exposed to circulating water in a pedicure spa. Nicks and cuts from shaving can be infected by bacteria in inadequately cleaned pedicure spas.
  • Don't ignore infections. If there's redness or soreness after a procedure, it may be a sign of an infection. See your dermasurgeon.
  • Only go to licensed, trained professionals. Each manicurist should have a state-issued cosmetology license that is current and visibly displayed.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about nail fungus and infections.

SOURCE: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, news release, July 2006


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