Nurses with acrylic fingernails are more likely to have harmful bacteria on their nails than other nurses, even after hand washing. The use of artificial nails by nurses may increase the chances that harmful bacteria will be transmitted to patients and cause infection. The use of artificial acrylic fingernails has become more fashionable and more and more nurses have begun wearing them.
Because hand-to-hand transmission is a major source of bacterial infection, the researchers speculated that acrylic nails might raise bacterial transmission risks between nurses and patients.
Before hand washing, 73% of nurses with artificial nails compared with only 32% of nurses without had harmful bacteria present on their nails. These numbers dropped to 68% and 26%, respectively, after the nurses washed their hands.
Based on these findings, the researchers urge that hospital infection control policies should discourage the use of artificial fingernails by all healthcare workers.
39th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, September 29, 1999 San Francisco.
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
Personal hygiene is an important part of staying healthy. Not only will it decrease the risk of infecting others, but it will also improve your health. There are some fairly profound relationships that Dr. Ken Seaton has described. You can review some of his work in the article section on the site.
He describes how washing your hands with a special soap that penetrates the fingernails is likely to increase one's albumin levels and improve their health. We do sell his soap products in our office.
He also told me that women with long fingernails also suffer from some partial brain atrophy as there are enormous amounts of receptors on the tips of their fingers that are not stimulated as they were designed to be.