Are nail salon’s or nail spa’s safe?

Doctor Arti Amin

Nail salon’s or nail spa’s are special treats often seen as a beauty and relaxation therapy. More and more of us are getting our nails professionally done at nail salon’s or nail spa’s. It’s become a social norm. Unfortunately, I’m seeing more and more infections because of this. You might be asking yourself why you should care about infections – I’ve amputated toes because of severe infections. Patients have been hospitalized due to severe infections. One patient even had a below knee amputation!

Fungal toenail infections start slowly and before you know it the only medication that will cure the infection is a pill that requires monthly blood tests to check your liver function. So, you love getting your nails done? I will teach you how to have a safe nail salon or nail spa experience.

Rule #1:

If you’re a diabetic, it is illegal for nail salons to trim your toenails. Fingernails are OK but never toenails. If they accidentally cut you, you may get an infection or worse – gangrene which leads to amputations.   A Podiatrist should be trimming your toenails.

Rule #2:

NEVER soak in the Spa chairs. It takes 20 minutes with contact from germicide to kill fungus. Instead, soaking in a bowl lined with a FRESH plastic liner is safe. Be sure they change the liner.


Use your own instruments. Most places do not sanitize/sterilize their instruments the way they are required by law. Some of you may be saying that your salon places the instruments in a surgical peel pack. Yes, but are they sterilizing those packs or simply placing them in the packs? There are ways you can tell if they’re sterilized. Safer alternative, buy your own and you can sanitize them yourself.


Do not allow the salon to use a pumice stone – buy your own. They are supposed to throw those away after each use but often do not. I have seen not only fungal skin infections passed around this way but warts as well. Often you think a wart is a callous which the salon continues to scrub which causes it to spread. A wart is a virus and will spread. Any wart that is present for over 1 year needs to be biopsied as the risk for it becoming malignant increases.

Rule #5:

Never have your cuticles cut. Pushed back is OK, never cut. The cuticle protects the outer world from the inner world. That is, the cuticle protects the inside of our bodies from infectious materials from the outside. I have seen many bacterial infections because of cut cuticles.

Rule #6:

Take your own nail polish. There are women who not only have fungal toenail infections but mold growing within the nail itself. These organisms do not die in the nail polish bottles. This causes fungus to spread. Fungus loves warm, dark moist places and especially loves to flourish under nail polish – even clear polish! Now there are fungal resistant nail polishes available. I have a wide variety for sale in my office.

Rule #7:

Give your nails a break. Best time is during the winter when you’re not wearing as many sandals and other open-toed shoes. This gives you the opportunity to inspect your nails between polish changes so you know if your nails are infected. Best to catch it early.

If you follow these rules, your chances of developing fungal infections and other types of infections is decreased.

Contact Us if you are experiencing symptom of a fungal infection HERE