For the women who are reading this, have you have had artificial nails? I used to think I never would because I'd read horror stories of people who had problems. Also, as a nurse, we're not supposed to have them because of the infection control issue, so that was always a barrier too. But, about 5 years ago or so, I got my first set of gel nails, supposedly better than acrylics (I have no idea; I've never used acrylics).
I loved them. You have to understand that I have short stubby fingers and not nice long lean ones like so many people I know. I also have nails that break if you look at them. No-way, no how could I ever have long nails. Believe me, I tried.
So, for a few years, I did the gel nail thing. I loved how my hands looked. They made me feel good and sometimes we need to do things that make us feel good. Until, I got an infection in not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 fingers (or 3 fingers and my thumb).
The infections got so severe that we weren't sure that oral antibiotics were going to clear them up. And, considering I need my fingers to type for my living, this was not a good situation. I took off the gel nails and let my nails grow out. I ended up getting a few more infections along my nail beds over the next few months, but thankfully, that's stopped now.
To this day, I mourn my beautiful nails. I didn't have them sharp and squared, I made them softly rounded and just really enjoyed having nice hands and nails. Of course, now I'm scared and can't/won't go that route again, plus I work with patients sometimes still, so I shouldn't have them.
Now, the safety of artificial nails has been brought into question because of Nadya Suleman, so-called Octomom. I remember seeing one of those first images of her caressing a baby's head, with her long nails and I did wonder about them. It seems I'm not the only one. Ken Gerenraich, a podiatrist who serves as CEO of Woodward Laboratories, a California company that makes hand, foot and skin antimicrobials, wrote to Ms Suleman expressing concern over her nails and the vulnerability and safety of her preemies.
According to this article, Nadya Suleman: Eight tiny babies, 10 long fingernails, Dr. Gereraich pointed out that such nails are a hotbed of bugs that can cause infection - which is precisely why we nurses aren't supposed to have them.
I suggest you go over to the article and read what he wrote. Do you think it will make any difference? Somehow, I doubt it.
(For the record - I'm not against artificial nails. I'd have them again in a flash if I knew I could)