Get Regular Manicures & Pedicures? Avoiding them? Play it Safe at the Nail Salon and Relax.

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Women can feel safe again returning to the nail salon for a manicure or pedicure when they arm themselves with the right salon-grade tools and information to avoid a painful fungal or bacterial infection.

Women who get regular manicures and pedicures spend upwards of $1,000 or more a year pampering themselves with an indulgence that could lead to more than beautiful nails. Looming in the whirlpool, manicure bowl, or other salon instrument is the possibility of bacteria and organisms that could result in fungal and bacterial infections, and in extreme cases HIV, Hepatitis, Herpes or warts.

In response, girl-i-cure(TM) has developed a set of "nail salon tools to go" that provides true peace of mind for personal safety.

"Going to the nail salon without your own complete set of tools is equivalent to using the toothbrush of patients before you," says Principal Mette Nygard of girl-i-cure ( "While dentists use an autoclave heat sterilization method to clean their instruments, the cosmetology industry doesn't seem to have the same standards to eradicate micro-organisms."

Even salons with high-profile clientele that look clean or even use an autoclave may unknowingly spread bacteria and infections, if they:

  • don't sanitize their hands between clients.
  • share towels, manicure bowls, pumice stones, pedicure slippers, or other tools not appropriately sterlized (as with an autoclave).
  • use a brush-on cuticle oil, polish, base coat or top coat among several clients.
  • provide a whirlpool footspa "throne", which may harbor micro-organisms in the jets even if the basin is clean.
  • drop a tool on the floor and use without re-sterilizing.

Case in point is singer and American Idol hostess Paula Abdul, who contracted a painful fungal infection on her thumb, likely from a high-end salon. The experience motivated Abdul to lobby with the California Senate to improve sanitation methods in California, and educate salon patrons nationwide. As we wait for the government or the Board of Cosmetology to implement stricter standards, what can patrons do? Bring their own tools!

"You can buy other manicure kits on the market, but they fall short of the true consumer need," says Nygard who developed the girl-i-cure concept while pregnant and extra concerned for her personal safety. "Other kits seem to provide items you can't sanitize or disposable ones intended for repeated use, so I created an end-to-end solution for 'individual use only' to make a trip to the salon a safer experience for the patron and the technician."

The girl-i-cure "nail salon tools to go" set includes all the basic professional-grade tools a girl needs (salon quality cuticle nippers and pushers, a set of washable salon boards, a set of disposable manicure sticks, plus a salon safety guide, tool tray, a towel, antifungal polish remover, sani-scrub antifungal to clean the nail, sani-spray antibacterial nail prep, hand and cuticle treatment, manicure bowl, base coat, top coat, cuticle oil and more). Everything you need for a safe manicure is in the bag -- just supply the polish. And for pedicures, the girl-i-cure tool set includes a pedicure basin with disposable liners to tote, then toss (no washing necessary), plus pumice sponges and sanitizable toe separators. Recommended for natural nails, the safe manicure kit is $69.95, and the safe manicure kit with pedicure upgrade is $88.95.

>>>> NOTE: These product sets are not meant to cure, treat, or diagnose any medical condition. If you notice skin or nail changes, or if you have an existing medical condition, contact your physician immediately for a proper diagnosis.

In addition to bringing their own salon-grade tools, patrons can:

  • Clean tools at home with an antiseptic spray, such as MRX Mediceutical, which kills staph and strep bacterial on contact -- or Star Nail Sani-Spray Antiseptic, which contains Chlorothynol (thymol) to help prevent cross-contamination and destroy staph aureus.
  • Insist the technician santize with an antibacterial to prevent the spread of viruses, fungus and germs from hand-to-hand or hand-to-foot contact.
  • Avoid shaving legs 48-hours prior to a pedicure service, and avoid any nail service if hands or feet have any nick, papercut, burn or wound until fully healed -- as these all provide the gateway for micro-organisms to enter the body.
  • Never use the whirlpool "throne" foot bath as microbacteria may breed in the suction screen and harbor in the jets. Ideally women should bring their own footspa.
  • Don't reuse disposable toe dividers, emery boards or manicure sticks,. If the package doesn't say you can sanitize, then it's meant for one use only.
  • Women with acrylic nails should bring their own drill bits for the technician's electric drill. Better yet: consider a natural manicure, as the air pockets may form between the synthetic nail and the actual nail bed to trap moisture, which may breed fungal and bacterial growth.
  • Finally, keep check of any discoloration, redness, soarness or swelling, and seek help from a physician if these symptoms appear. A manicure or pedicure should never hurt.


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Mette Nygard
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