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  • Writer's pictureTea Writes

Cancer, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), & Manicures: What's the Rub?

Client claims she acquired squamous cell carcinoma at a nail salon: Ways to reduce this type of cancer, and avoid the HPV infection specifically on your hands

I must initially interject a word of professional advice as an Indiana-state licensed manicurist since 1994: When having a manicure service at home or in a salon, NEVER CUT OR HAVE YOUR CUTICLES CUT!

I have seen over the years, more recent nail professionals practice and swear by cutting the cuticles. THEY ARE NOT TO BE CUT.

The thin skin, which surrounds the nail is there for a reason---to protect the nail from infection and facilitates new nail growth by producing fresh cells and helps to maintain nail health.

In the case of the client who visited the nail salon and acquired cancer (listen to the story here), although I wasn't there, several things may have happened. However, I know one thing for sure did happen: Dirty implements were used.

First, let's just break down the situation according to the report:

The nail technician was cutting the client's cuticles and cut her---the technician had no business cutting anything around the client's cuticles ---- No sharp cutting instruments should be used around the cuticles.

Over time, the client's cuticle set up an infection, which did not heal----The infection was caused by using filthy implements from prior usage not cleansed and sterilized---implements MUST be cleansed and sterilized.

The client was diagnosed as having squamous cell carcinoma which was caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)---caused by skin-to-skin contact.

Since the client's skin had been breached via the cut with filthy implements, the HPV had a clear path of entry. Had the client not been cut, and with the use of sterilized implements, the squamous cell carcinoma may have been prevented.

In addition, getting the HPV vaccine may provide assurance and a source of protection and prevention.

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