Dip powder manicures have become increasingly popular over the last few years, but according to one woman who tried the popular manicure technique, they can also be hazardous to your health.
The woman, who chose only to be identified as Bethany, visited a Greensboro, NC salon to get a dip powder manicure on October 17, according to WFMY News 2. While there, she said a nail technician accidentally cut her finger while filing her nails, then dipped her finger into the powder container to complete the process.
"I noticed about a week later I had a little spots go up [around a few nails] and tried creams over-the-counter and then soaked them in alcohol and peroxide and it just kept getting worse," she told WFMY News 2.
Eventually, Bethany said her nails started to swell, bleed, and ooze pus. That’s when she went to a doctor, who diagnosed her with a fungal infection.
How can you get a fungal infection from a dip powder manicure?
One of the reasons a dip manicure exposes you to a potential fungal infection is because the nail is “roughed up and sandpapered” before placed in the dip, Cheryl Karcher, MD, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, practicing both cosmetic and medical dermatology, tells Health.
“The metal piece of equipment they use to sandpaper down your nail can be dangerous if not used properly—if it cuts the skin there’s always going to be a chance for infection,” she says.
According to Karcher, the North Carolina woman’s infection likely stemmed from the cut on her finger. “The original injury was the cut to the skin, not necessarily caused by the dip powder,” she says.
Even so, according to WFMY News 2, nail technicians in North Carolina aren’t supposed to dip your entire finger into the powder containers, due to the risk of infection. "Our rules are very clear indicating once a product has come into contact with the client, it has to be thrown away," said Lynda Elliott Executive Director of the NC Board of Cosmetic Art Examiner
Dr. Karcher, however, says that’s not always the case. “I have literally seen all nails dipped in the original container and put back on the shelf,” she says.
Ultimately, however, she maintains that the more important issue for safety is the sandpapering of the nail. “If this touches the skin and/or the cuticle around the nail, an infection is very likely to happen,” she says.
Clearly, there's a risk attached to these self-care techniques, but if you're still set on getting a dip powder manicure, try to bring your own powder and make sure your nail salon sterilizes all of their equipment before use.
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