Speaking to the Daily Mail, Dr Elisabeth Dancey, a British beauty and aesthetics expert at Bijoux Medispa in Belgravia said that bacteria can sit under the nails and be transferred to your face and to others easily.
Up until now you’ve probably never considered that your nails could be dangerous but experts have just issued a warning that anyone with long nails, natural or false, or those wearing extensions or nail varnish could be a Coronavirus risk.
She told the newspaper, “Long nails, nail varnish and nail extensions have always been a no-no for anybody who needs spotlessly clean hands; nurses, doctors, therapists, cooks, mothers and carers.
“Germs such as bacteria, fungi and viruses (including the Coronavirus) can harbour underneath the nail space and easily be transmitted to whatever you touch. Put simply, you cannot see the dirt that lies beneath.”
“Doctors know this and rigorously scrub under their nails before donning gloves and performing surgery; with a sterile nail brush and sanitising solution. We should now follow their example.”
If you’re wondering how short your nails should be to lower this risk, GP and former orthopaedic surgeon Dr Chike Emeagi, Medical Director of Hampstead Aesthetics Clinic and Dr Chike Clinics, said that the ideal length was just above the nail tissue, explaining: “It is advisable to cut your nails as short as possible as they harbour infection.”
The news comes after a post when viral on Facebook where a woman revealed that she was told by a nurse in Australia that people may be washing their hands but they’re not thinking properly about their nails – and shared the tell-tell signs if they are too long.
The user wrote: “Among all the hand-washing instructions and the fun 20-second song suggestions, I haven’t seen anyone note that it is impossible to wash your hands properly if your fingernails are long.”
The post continued: “If you can’t put your fingernails straight down against your other palm without your nails adding too much distance to do it, you cannot wash under your fingernails properly unless you use a nail brush every time. If you can’t rub the very ends of your fingers against the other palm, then your hands aren’t truly clean after you wash them, no matter how long you soap up.”
The user ended her post, adding, “Please, during this global emergency, keep your nails short.”
Many users commented under the post that they had not heard of that advice before, with one stating that, “Nurses can’t have painted or fake nails as they harbour an incredible amount of bacteria. This is true even when not in a pandemic.’The same is true of engagement rings and wedding bands.”
Perhaps now is the best time to give your nails a break – it could be more beneficial than you think.