Based on the article- The Industry’s issue With Ingrown Nails, written by Michelle Pratt, that was posted on Nailsmag.com on Dec 4th, 2017.
According to the author, nail techs are restricted on providing services to customers that have “warm, red, inflamed, or infected” toenails in order to avoid serious problem.
By definition, an ingrown toenail happens when “the sidewalls grow up over the nail, and the nail pierces the skin”. However, many nail techs are confused about the concept of the ingrown toe nails. As the result, they will respond incorrectly when they come in contact with customers that have ingrown toenails which might lead to more severe problems later. The author also points out the reason why different nail tech/ pedicurist handle ingrown toenails differently.
According to Kimberly Kennedy- a Raleigh N.C based podologist and Certified Master Pedicurist, there are two kind of nail techs, those with a passion for foot care, and those with a passion for art. In fact, the second group is the most popular one. They are nail techs that ” graduate and just want to do manicures and enhancements to make their clients look and feel pretty, but once in the salon, they are forced to perform pedicures on clients with problem nails or health issues” according to Michelle Pratt. These nail techs just focus on how to make nails look pretty, but they were not educated on how to take care clients with excessive build up under the nail that is causing pressure against the nail wall. In order to reduce the risk of causing serious ingrown toe nails, the author suggests two ways that help to serve customer better and protect nail techs license from being revoked.
First, technique is the first element that prevents the development of an ingrown toenail. By not cutting the nail too short, or rounding the corners, or filing the sides of the nail plates in the groove area, the nail tech will be able to eliminate the biggest cause of the ingrown toenail. Particularly, the corners of the nails should have no points that could irritate or pierce the skin, nor should they be rounded deep down the sides of the nails.
Second, using the right tools can help avoid the problem of ingrown toenail. Three essential ones are flat-edge nippers, toenail cutters, and a Blacks file (rasp).
In conclusion, nail techs need to be careful in handling ingrown toenails. They need to know when to say NO with providing services in order to protect the health of their clients and their licenses. Recommending the customer with the ingrown toenail to the closest podiatrist is what a nail tech really needs to do.