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  • Writer's pictureTea Writes

The Cost of a Pedicure: A Big Toe

Even an ingrown toenail can become more than the cost of a pedicure---the cost of losing a toe by amputation------nail techs are overstepping their boundaries with surgical procedures best left to podiatrists.

I've written about or made commentary on these [true] stories in the past. Here's another one that hit my newsfeed that I just couldn't resist passing along.

The article is about a woman who visited a nail salon, to which she had visited on several occasions.

She had an ingrown toenail and the nail tech attempted to remove it and inadvertently cut the client. The cut was deep. It became infected.

With two rounds of antibiotics, and the removal of the client's toenail, the infection progressed, and became very painful.

Finally, the client visited an infectious disease specialist, and he amputated her toe---her big toe at that, which is the toe that facilitates balance.

There's also another piece of the article that really got under my skin (no pun intended).

But, at the end of the article, it states that "a nail technician should be cutting your cuticles..." That is absolutely incorrect! A nail technician should NEVER cut your cuticles (which is actually the eponychium), even at the client's request.

Any nail tech/manicurist who picks up a metal cutting implement or razor, with the intent to cut ANY skin is entering the "danger zone." I agree, cutting the eponychium is considered a surgical procedure. In some states it's illegal to cut it, due to that fact.

In some states, eponychium cutting is permissible by law. However, eponychium cutting in any state should be outlawed and illegal. It is definitely beyond the scope of the what a nail technician or manicurist can perform------SURGERY!

The eponychium, which is the living tissue (skin) that surrounds the nail/nail plate----which many identify as the "cuticle," which should never be severed.

The skin is there for a reason---to prevent bacteria and infection. But instead, it is cut to satisfy pleasing esthetics.

The most that should be done with this part of the nail, is to push it back after it has been moistened (after showering, handwashing, hand-soaking, or treated with cuticle oil)-----never push it back when the skin/cuticle is dry.

If properly cared for (via instructions in the previous paragraph), this part of the nail/finger will naturally develop a presentable appearance.

Nail techs should NEVER be allowed to, or take it upon themselves to cut ANY skin on a client. A hangnail----a tiny dead (no blood supply) sliver of skin hanging from the nail may be an exception.

There are situations if, and when a manicurist/nail tech can and should refuse the request of a client:

  • Removing ingrown toenails

  • Shaving callouses and corns

  • Cutting cuticles (eponychium)

  • Hangnails that are being fed by a blood supply

  • Suspected warts, infections, irritations, sores, injuries, painful areas, or open wounds

But, did you know...

The "true cuticle" on a nail is the waxy substance on the nail plate, which can be removed with cuticle remover and an orangewood stick or a cuticle-removing tool, by gently scraping the waxy cuticle from the fingernail.

The true cuticle is the ONLY cuticle that should be removed for the fingernail, which promotes healthy fingernail growth.

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