A trip to the nail salon is an opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, and beautify.
A manicure or pedicure can lift your spirits, make you feel pampered, and boost confidence.
Nail salons can also provide an important social opportunity to catch up with friends, relax after a long week, or prepare for a special occasion.
But you should be aware of some potential health hazards associated with nail salon visits.
Potential Infections From Nail Salons
One of the most significant risks associated with nail salon visits is the potential for infection.
If the salon does not correctly sterilize its equipment, there is a risk of passing infections from one client to the next.
This is a concern with nail salon visits because the equipment comes into direct contact with your skin—sometimes damaging or scratching the skin, which can provide an entry point for bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
Another common source of infection in nail salons is in the footbath. If the water in the footbath is not properly cleaned and disinfected between clients, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
If you have any small cuts or open wounds on your feet, soaking them in the foot bath can leave you vulnerable to infection.
While most salons take great care to minimize the risks, it’s still important to be informed to make the best choices for your health.
Harmful Chemicals Used in Nail Salons
The chemicals used in nail salons can also pose a risk to your health.
Some ingredients may be irritating and cause a dermatitis reaction, while others may cause more severe health problems.
One of the most harmful chemicals used in nail products is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Extended exposure to VOCs can lead to:
- irritation of the nose, eyes, throat, and skin
- potential miscarriage
Acetone, methyl methacrylate (MMA), and toluene are just a few VOCs commonly used in nail salons. This may be especially dangerous for people who work in nail salons, as they are exposed to these chemicals on a regular basis.
Other Cosmetically-Induced Problems
In addition to the potential for infection and exposure to harmful chemicals, other cosmetically-induced problems can occur with a trip to the nail salon.
For example, overuse of nail products can cause the nails to become dry and brittle. Nails may also become discolored or even damaged if they are exposed to certain chemicals or treated too roughly.
If you have any concerns, it’s always best to speak with your doctor or dermatologist.