Nail Salon Health Hazards

Nail salons use a wide variety of toxic chemicals that can cause cancer, respiratory disease, disorders of the nervous and reproductive systems, and skin damage.

nail salon
The chemicals used in nail salons are not your “everyday” chemicals. These are industrial strength chemicals that require regulations and education for their use.

If you regularly visit a nail salon or work in a nail salon, you could be at risk of developing a lung disease from inhaling the chemicals.

Getting a manicure or pedicure can put you at risk for developing skin allergy, either from the glues or some of the chemicals or developing a skin infection.

Treatment-resistant skin abscesses or boils on their lower legs were complained by people who had recently had a pedicure in one of the whirlpool foot bath chairs at a single salon. These recliner-type chairs have an integral footbath with re-circulating water that reaches to just below the patron’s knees. Cultures of the [sick] women’s legs and the foot bath filter screens have revealed that the screens had never been removed for cleaning, and tremendous amounts of hair, skin, and organic debris had built up. Laboratory tests revealed massive amounts of the same unusual microbe Mycobacterium fortuitum in both the filter screens and patients’ sores.

The biggest problem is what’s known as nail fungus. It’s a communicable disease. Another is ringworm. Also, both the drills that are sometimes used, and cuticle pushing can damage the matrix of the nail, causing permanent loss or deformity.

nail salon

Protection Guidelines:

  • Make sure there are no instruments that are dirty lying around.
  • Make sure that the place is licensed.
  • You should ask questions to the staff as far as how their instruments are cleaned or what type of chemicals are used.
  • Disposable items such as nonmetal supplies like toe spreaders and emery boards cannot be disinfected, so make sure new ones are used for each customer.
  • Avoid cutting the cuticles. try to encourage your beautician to push back cuticles, because each time you cut, you open yourself to infection. Cuticles are there to protect you. The same with your feet as well.
  • You can even bring your own instruments to the salon. Some doctors say that’s a way to avoid infection. If you don’t, make sure the tools are properly sterilized, and anything that’s not metal is used only once.
  • Finally, if you notice a problem on your hands or feet, be sure to see your doctor.

Above all, play it safe.


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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