You may want to think twice before getting ‘dip powder’ nails, doctors say

Whether you go regularly or just before a big event, a new and popular nail trend could get you sick.

Dip powder manicures are stronger and last longer. You dip your finger into a container filled with acrylic powder and then, it is sealed with a top coat.

The problem is some salons might reuse that leftover powder.

“If they’re bleeding or they get cuts and stuff and then they’re dipping their fingers into that same powder, you know those types of things can of course cause infections and things like that,” nail tech Priscilla Miletello said.

Doctors warn one infection in particular -- herpes whitlow -- is highly contagious.

“It’s that virus instead of manifesting on the mouth like you would think of like a cold sore, it’s manifesting on the fingers,” microbiologist Dr. Lourdes Norman-McKay said.

The best way to protect yourself is to make sure your nail tech uses single-use packages and they open all their equipment in front of you. This includes the dip powders because you do not know who that equipment was used on before you.

“Even if a nail technician may notice that someone has some fungal infection on their nails or maybe a lesion, they’re not real likely to turn away business,” Norman-McKay said.

All 14,000 salons in North Carolina are inspected every year. They get grades just like restaurants do so inspectors say check the grade before you sit down for your appointment.