Are manicures and pedicures harmful? If the nail salon uses unclean instruments or equipment, you can have problems. Most of the problems to nails are caused by allergy, irritants, trauma (damage to the nail or cuticle), or infection. If you go to a salon for a manicure/pedicure, look at the stations. Are they clean? Does the manicurist wash her hands between customers? You might want to bring in your own tools to protect against infection.

One serious problem is a paronychia (pronounced pare-o-nick-ee-a) which is a type of infection of the nailbed. It is difficult to get rid of and can cause pain, brittle, and discolored nails.

Have you ever had an ingrown toenail? They can be very painful and ugly. Always clip or cut your nails straight across. Shoes that are pointed or tight can also cause ingrown nails. Overweight people also suffer from ingrown toenails from pressure on the toes and shoes that don’t fit properly.

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Simple information about paronychia from the National Institutes of Health.

10 Tips for Healthy Manicures