Nail salon dangers: 4 health risks associated with manicures

Pretty fingernails shouldn't put your health at risk. But, if you're frequenting an Atlanta nail salon...

Pretty fingernails shouldn't put your health at risk. But, if you're frequenting an Atlanta nail salon for weekly manicures, you might be exposing yourself to some serious health risks. Before picking a polish, keep these salon tips in mind!

1. Skin damage: Are you in the habit of letting your polish dry under the glow of a UV nail dryer? Change your routine. According to a CNN news report online, the UVA light emitted from the dryers can cause skin wrinkling on the hands, a breakdown of skin cells and an increased risk of skin cancer. Instead, opt for a fan dryer or let your fingernails air dry naturally.

2. Allergic reactions: Every woman wants strong, thick nails. But applying a hardening treatment at the nail salon isn't the way to go. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website explains that these nail products contain formaldehyde, which can cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation. Instead, try eating a healthier diet rich in calcium to boost the rigidity of your fingernails.

3. Breathing and eye problems: The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) warns that popular chemicals found in nail polishes and glues can cause nail salon customers to have trouble breathing, irritated sinuses or experience red, itchy eyes.

The key chemicals to stay away from include

  • Dibutyl phthalate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Methacrylate compounds
  • Toluene

When in doubt, choose a salon that only uses non-toxic, organic beauty products.

4. Puncture wounds: With all the nail filing, cuticle pushing and nail trimming, it's not uncommon for your hands to sustain a few minor nicks and cuts that aren't visible. But, when you're sharing a common space with so many others, those small puncture wounds are exposed to tiny pieces of skin and nail clippings from other customers. This cross exposure is a recipe for even more health problems, including infection and the spread of disease.

Are you noticing swelling, itching or a discharge around your fingernails or on your hands? Seek a professional examination from a physician in Atlanta. You may have picked up a bacterial or viral infection, or allergic reaction.

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