Artificial fingernails favor infectious disease

Dangerous beauty trend 

Artificial fingernails favor infectious disease

Nail studios are in great demand. Shellac and gel varnishes, which last up to four weeks, are particularly popular. However, they  can promote infectious diseases such as nail fungus or trigger allergies. Therefore, the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) advises: “Stay away from artificial nails.”

Nail modeling always carries a certain risk of infection. Because between natural and plastic nail quickly cracks and cavities form. Through them bacteria and fungi can attack the nail and cause damage.

The invisible danger under the paint layer

The roughened and softened cornea structure provides an ideal breeding ground for invading germs and fungi. Outwardly, an infection is not recognizable. Therefore, the nail fungus  initially remains undetected and can spread unhindered. It is not noticeable that the natural nail discolors and changes its structure. The fungal infection is only apparent when the nails are removed again or pain and redness occur.
Art nails damage the fingernails in a different way. They prevent oxygen from getting on the nail and lead to a dilution of the horny layer. When the artificial nails are attached and cured, additional vapors that can trigger a contact allergy, a so-called acrylate allergy, are produced. This sometimes leads to swelling and rashes on the face and hands.
A nail fungus is uncomfortable and its treatment tedious. In addition, there is always the risk of infecting other people. “People who work in occupations where hand hygiene is important, such as kitchen, nursing, and medical staff, should refrain from using artificial fingernails,” advises TK. The danger of germ colonization by the injury of the nail is higher than with natural nails.

The trigger for the infection is usually the fungus Trichopyton. His spurs are particularly stubborn and spread quickly. Items that come into contact with the fungus should be washed at 90 degrees Celsius. Because they still survive at 60 degrees Celsius.

How to recognize a nail fungus?
From the thickened nail plate to the first slight yellow-whitish discoloration of the toenail fungus can take many forms. If the infection progresses, the discoloration intensifies. When cutting the nails, the interfaces crumble apart. The cuticle may also be affected and show redness. If it comes to subsequent skin infections, damaged tissue, itching and fatigue, it is high time to go to the doctor.

If the fungus has already penetrated into the nail matrix, the growth zone of the nail, the regrowing nail is also immediately infected. A growing out of the fungus is then no longer possible. In this case, special tablets must be taken. But even then the treatment can take up to a year. If nail fungus remains untreated, the nail may decompose and break off over time.

The right choice of nail salon 

Nail studios always run the risk of getting a fungal infection. Grinding dusts released when working on the nails allow fungal spores to spread easily. This is especially the case if the tools are not or only insufficiently disinfected between the customers.

If you still do not want to do without artificial nails, you should choose a nail salon in which hygiene is very important. Before modeling the hands should always be disinfected, the work materials and tools should also be disinfected and the workplace should be thoroughly cleaned before and after work.

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