Not everything suspicious you see under nails is fungus. Ever had a client with some green stuff on or under her tips? It’s not a fungus; most likely it’s an infection caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
What Causes It to Happen?
Usually the nail is able to keep bacteria from creating a problem, but like most infections, a compromised environment encourages the problem to begin. The environment underneath nail products, such as artificial nails, is the perfect moist place for a bacteria to live and multiply. If the infection becomes severe, it can make the nail bed soft and mushy.
What Do You Do?
Ultimately, the nail but be cleaned, disinfected, and have any enhancements removed. But remember, you are a nail tech, not a doctor. If it looks like there is an infection present, do not risk trying to rectify the clients’ problem. In most cases, it is actually illegal for a tech to work on nails that appear to be infected. Instead, at this point, you must refer your guest to a medical doctor who can treat the bacteria and clean up the nail.
Keep in mind as well that even after an infection has been cleared up, the nail can remain stained until it grows out.
The best way to prevent P. aeruginosa from creeping into your salon in the first place, or at least from spreading inadvertently from client to client is to use an alcohol-based antiseptic to disinfect your tools and surfaces.
Always prep thoroughly before applying artificial products to nails to limit the possibility of a infection flourishing. Additionally, ensure that products are properly adhered when applied, as gaps and lifting between the nails and products are the breeding grounds for bacteria.