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Like getting your nails done? Read this

Like getting your nails done? Read this
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  • Like getting your nails done? Read this

One of the first things your nail technician does when you put your hands out is to push back and cut your cuticles, the thin pieces of skin that connect your skin to your nail. This may not be the safest route to take, since your cuticle is actually a skin-barrier form of protection from bacteria and fungus.

Cuticles are often cut and re-cut because once removed, as they grow, they can become frayed and need cutting again. Avoiding this in the first place (and still having beautiful nails) is a healthy tactic. Your manicurist may not like it though!

What does the cuticle do?

The cuticle protects your nail plate and nail folds from outside influences including fungus and bacteria. Any disruption – biting, cutting, pulling – of the cuticle can cause ongoing damage to the nail, like ridging. While this is not common, it’s possible.

Improperly sterilised instruments can introduce bacteria, fungus and viruses (like the wart virus) to the deeper tissue of the finger and fingernail. Additionally, blood-borne viruses like hepatitis C can stay on improperly-cleaned tools for up to three days.

Sterilisation of the tools

You might not think to ask about sterilisation procedures (or know anything about it), but it can be worth checking with your nail technician when you’re there – the number of untrained, inexperienced beauticians can be high, and if they haven’t been taught the risks, they might cut corners. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Each state in Australia has guidelines for nail technicians to abide, so figuring out if your nail salon complies might be something you want to check. Alternatively, you can take your own nail tools to the salon, and clean them yourself at home. Some American laws forbid cuticle cutting.

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