I have taken off my artificial nails because I noticed a green discoloration on my own nails. The discoloration appears near the tip on two nails which I have cut off and filed- the nails would have broken anyway because they are so soft. There is a slight green color in the middle of one nail and it is darker in the same area on another nail.
I have buffed my nails and applied SolarOil to combat the peeling and drying. I am throwing away all files, orange sticks and buffers and sanitizing my clippers w/alcohol to be on the safe side. I believe I should not apply any polish either. I am not getting new artificial nails applied as well.
Is it safe for me to get a manicure? What can I do to get rid of the discoloration?
A green to brown to black discoloration is classic for Pseudomonas Bacterial infection which you more than likely acquired at the salon - especially if they used the same files on you that they did on everyone else. Pseudomonas bacteria live on our bodies and on just about every surface you can touch. They are not normally a problem unless you get a cut and don't treat it, or if it gets trapped between the natural nail and the overlay.
You were right to remove the product to expose the infection to the air. Keeping the nails clean and dry will help to remove moisture which is what the infection needs to survive. Rather than apply the Solar Oil for the first week, keep the nails dried out with alcohol. You only need apply the alcohol after you have had your hands in water. Even after you have killed the infection, the stain, which is composed mainly of iron compounds, will remain and will grow out with the nail plate.
Oh yuck! Well, I guess I will have to live with 2 green nails until the discoloration grows out.
Do I have the same chance of getting this infection with a manicure? What steps should I take in preventing this from happening again?
You may either want to change salons, make sure the salon you go to has their State Board Rules of Sanitation book for you to read (this is a law in most states), or purchase your own implements and files to take to the salon with you. After they use them on you, you will need to sanitize them when you get home. Be sure the files you purchase can be sanitized. Wash the files and implements with warm soapy water, rinse them really well, then completely immerse them in a sanitizing solution for a full 10 minutes. Remove them from the solution and wash with warm soapy water, rinse well, dry well and store in a sealed container until the next use. (This is the same steps they are supposed to do in the salon.) You can get approved sanitation solution at Sally Beauty Supply along with your files and implements.