Do You Get Fungal Nail Infections From Nail Salons?
Every week we get at least 20 men and women with fungal toenail infections. Some come in specifically for this problem, as it’s now causing them discomfort and they hate the way their nails look. Others come in for other pains and aches, and then casually mention their infection too.
When we ask how long the infection has been there (as often, the newer it is, the less time it’s had to penetrate the nail and the easier it is to treat), a common answer we get is:
“I’m not sure… I had my nails done at a salon a few months ago, I took off the polish last week, and I saw that my nail has started to turn this whitish-yellow colour at the end here.”
When it comes to fungal nail infections and nail salons…
1. Yes, many fungal nail infections are contracted at nail salons and beauty bars
A New Zealand survey found that just 12% of nail salon operators had adequate disinfection and sterilisation processes. The reason behind this is simple: it’s expensive and time-consuming to have good hygiene protocols.
At our clinic, every single instrument that is used on you has been thoroughly cleaned, bagged, then steam sterilised to over 200 degrees for over an hour. The machines that do this are expensive to buy, must be maintained a couple of times a year, and you can bet it’s a hefty power bill too. But that doesn’t matter - because your health comes first. Unfortunately, beauty salons take a different view on this, often in favour of profit, simply putting the instrument in a cup of water between patients.
2. Fungal nail infections aren’t the worst thing you can contract
The same survey found that only 39% of salons would stop the pedicure if their customer started bleeding. And you’ve got to consider that that’s technician-dependent too, with people interpreting how much bleeding is necessary to stop differently.
So now, you’ve got instruments that have come in contact with blood, and that haven’t been properly disinfected and sterilised afterwards. That’s a risk on its own, let alone the cut you have that is now vulnerable to infection.
3. Painting anti-fungal nail lacquers on your nails daily is ineffective and time-consuming
Once you have an infection, many people start at the chemist with one of those anti-fungal creams or polishes. The bad news here is that in studies, their success rate is at a staggering 3.5% to 8.5%, while requiring you to use them every day without fail, sometimes painting them on up to three times per day.
Ditch the creams - they don’t penetrate below the surface of the toenail anyway. There’s only one treatment that has produced the best results for fungal nail infections that we’ve seen in over 20 years of practice: cold laser.
This laser uses two beams of cold (no burns or discomfort!) laser to destroy the nail fungus and stimulate your body to clear the infection. What you need to know is that it’s 100% safe with no side effects, has no pain, you don’t need to take any time off, and it’s proven to be effective, with clearance rates in studies of up to 93%.
And yes, ladies, you’re absolutely welcome to paint your nails after the treatment, while they grow out healthy and clear.
Here’s a before/after example of what you can expect, though fungal nail infections come in all shapes and sizes.