Unlike most medicines, manicures, hair and nail products do not undergo the same level of review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA stance is that products may be allowed onto the market if they are safe when used as the manufacturer intended or directed.
The FDA limits the concentration of formaldehyde to under 3 percent allowed in standard nail cosmetics. In addition, the FDA recommends that a formaldehyde-based product not come into contact with the skin. The use of one chemical in particular, methyl methacrylate (MMA), has been restricted in the United States since it can result in nail deformities and fungal infections.
Examples of prohibited ingredients in cosmetics include bithionol, methylene chloride and chlorofluorocarbon propellants. Some ingredients are allowed in cosmetics under carefully constructed restrictions. Examples are mercury, sunscreen and hexachlorophene.
The dermatologist is the physician of choice if salon clients suspect skin or nail deformities, as well as ugly surface skin blotches. In addition, physician wound care specialists may be required to treat a persistent cut or abrasion that will not heal on its own. Treatment should never be delayed if any of the previously mentioned skin issues or bacterial infections are either present or suspected.
Generally speaking, cosmetics and nail products do not have to undergo the rigorous clinical trials as in medications before being sold on the open market. Customarily, salons don't provide the detailed disclosure of products utilized on clients unless those products are tendered for sale.
Beauticians and others simply apply the substances onto the surface of the scalp, nails or skin without the client ever knowing the contents of the applications being employed to promote or enhance outside beauty. Careless use of a nail file to prepare the nail for layers of gel can expose delicate skin to dangerous inorganic chemicals. The other danger is a hard to detect body infection which may be diagnosed only by a qualified infectious disease medical practitioner.
Re-using water in pedicures is another classic health hazard. An example of a hard to detect infectious condition is hepatitis. In order to get hepatitis C from a manicure, your blood must have been drawn or punctured by a salon tool or instrument that already contains blood infected with the hepatitis C virus.