Orthopaedic consultant Mr Gunaratnam Shyamalan, who specialises in hand and wrist surgery, at the Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, said: “There is nothing wrong with wanting beautiful nails but some manicurists are simply too heavy handed!"
He said: “When they are dealing with the skin around the nails, particularly the cuticles, they need to ensure they are not exposing too much of the unprotected layer of skin below the tougher outer layer.”
Mr Shyamalan said that he had recently had to perform an operation on a woman whose finger was so swollen he had to drain the poison before it spread into the hand and arm.
Even after immediate treatment the patient was still in hospital overnight and it was six weeks before she could return to work.
“If the manicurist forces back the skin too vigorously or uses a scalpel to remove ‘supposedly dead’ skin, they can pierce the exposed softer layer, known as the dermis, resulting in infections entering the bloodstream,” he explained
“I can’t stress enough how important it is that implements used on nails by a manicurist need to be cleaned and sterilised to a clinical standard before every use. If you visit your doctor or your dentist you expect the highest standards of hygiene – well, in my opinion, you should expect the same from your manicurist.
“It’s a case of your safety in their hands – you need to be able to trust your manicurist to uphold the highest standards of hygiene and safety.”
He added that situations can be made worse if, after accidently puncturing the skin, the manicurist then applies nail varnish that can also cause irritation and infection on what are actually ‘open wounds’.
“Even if you can’t see it or if it doesn’t bleed, punctured skin is still a wound and, like all wounds, needs to be treated with care. I have seen enough ‘manicure causalities’ to realise that this is something the public should be much more aware of.
“Looking at a hand I can tell a lot about a person. I love beautiful, colourful and in my daughter’s case, sparkling nails but I just want people to take care and know the dangers.”