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Will Nail Salons Do Nails With Fungus? [What You Must Know]

If your nails are showing signs of thickening, discoloration, being brittle, distorted in shape, or even smelling off then you could well be suffering from fungus. Usually, toenails are more susceptible but fingernails can suffer, too. But what does this mean for you and visiting the salon? Does it rule out a potential visit altogether or can you still get that manicure you want and hope for? Here is what you need to know.

So, will nail salons do nails with fungus? Nail salons should still do your nails, and many are unlikely to refuse to give you a manicure, even if you have fungus. Technicians see and work on all kinds of nails, even those with issues, so this should not surprise them nor prevent them from being able to work on them.

However, this does not mean you should necessarily get a manicure.

Fungus is spreadable so the best thing to do is attempt to reduce, remove and cure it.

Visiting a medical specialist is an option, so is by purchasing a specialized nail polish that was created specifically for fungus.

Applying it as per instructions should enable you to remove the fungus for good.

Thankfully, salons do sanitize their tools, but even still, this is not something you want to leave.

Fungus (onycomycosis) is one of the most common and unpleasant problems observed in nails.

It begins as a white or yellow spot under your nail tip.

It is an occurrence both for fingernails and toenails. As the infection progresses the nail gradually turns yellowish or white-ish.

The natural color is lost and the nail plate thickens and crumbles at the edges.

It becomes difficult to cut the nail and it does not look great either.

One thing to consider is that even though technicians are used to seeing fungus, they will not cure it – they are not trained to do so.

Sometimes even when you go to a new salon and ask for a pedicure, they may say that they do not provide medical manicure; hence in other words they are expressing the fact that they are unable nor do not treat nail health issues. Neither have they the equipment.

Let us now take a look at the most commonly asked questions related to the topic.

We will be looking at how fungus develops, to begin with, the average nail salon’s response to working on nails with fungus, and even how you can look to remove fungus, for good.

So, be sure to keep on reading to the end to ensure you get all the information you need!

Why Does Nail Fungus Develop?

Nail fungus is caused by various fungal organisms (fungi). The most common type is called dermatophyte. Yeast and mold also cause infections.

It is very persistent and the treatment is long.

Some of the risk factors are exposure in communal areas such as swimming pools, gyms, saunas, and shower rooms.

Other factors include:

  • Being older – the nails become drier with age and lack of balanced and healthy environment below the nail plate can attract more bacteria.
  • Sweating heavily
  • Having a minor skin or nail injury
  • Suffering from diabetes of weakened immune system – additional conditions naturally reduce the body’s ability to fight outside invaders and it becomes more susceptible to infections.
  • Acrylic nails left for three months or more – if you leave the nail extensions for too long, they become too damp and the natural nail cannot ‘breathe’ freely. Therefore, bacteria start to develop.

Signs of Nail Fungus

  • Discolouring,
  • Turning yellow,
  • Thick and stiff nail plate,
  • Disintegration of the nail and cracking if the infection is left untreated for a long time,
  • Damaged skin and cuticles around the nails

Will Nail Salons Do Fingernails With Fungus?

Most nail salons will do fingernails despite the infection you have in your nails. That does not mean they necessarily should.

Fungus is infectious and can spread to other customers. Before you go, it is best to call in advance and ask them all about your manicure.

First, begin by making the technicians aware. Then, you may even want to ask if you should take your own nail kit and what tools should be included.

If you develop fungus infection while wearing acrylic nails, you should get them removed at a salon immediately and begin treatment.

Can You Put Acrylic Nails On Nails With Fungus?

It is not advised to put acrylics on nails with fungus. This is because the nail beds are naturally weaker and they cannot sufficiently support and hold the extensions.

Additionally, wearing acrylics enables too much moisture to collect underneath, exacerbating the problem and worsening the infection.

In some cases, permanent or long-term damage can be caused.

How Can I Get Rid Of Fingernail Fungus?

However is possible, but over-the-counter bought medications are not recommended – their effectiveness is questionable.

If you go to a medical professional they might prescribe you the following medicine:

Other antifungal treatments that are also options and can be very effective include antifungal nail lacquer or topical solutions. This is one of the best sellers on Amazon.

Both treatments are applied the same way as you apply regular nail polish.

The infection is typically stubborn and it can take up to several months to get rid of it.

Once cured the infection might return and in some cases to cause permanent damage to your nail.

If not too severe, you can try some home medical treatments. Here are some examples:

Vicks VapoRub

This is a topical ointment. Its active ingredients camphor and eucalyptus oil help treat nail fungus.

Apply a small amount of the affected area at least once a day.

Vicks VapoRub is one of those household items that have several uses.

It’s also great for alleviating coughs, colds, sore muscles, aches and pains. Stocking up on a few bottles from Amazon is therefore one of the best things you can do.

Snakeroot Extract

This is an antifungal remedy made from plants from the sunflower family.

At the start of the treatment, it is applied every third day of the first month, twice a week during the second month, and once a week for the third month.

It’s quite a specialist product, so you may need to visit a herbal store to get some.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil also goes by the name melaleuca, both are the same.

It is an essential oil with antifungal and antiseptic qualities. Paint your nail with it twice a day with a cotton swab.

Just ensure you get a pharmaceutical-grade product, like this one on Amazon.

Oregano Oil

This oil contains thymol. The substance has antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Olive Leaf Extract

Oleuropein is contained in olive oil extract and is believed to have anti-fungal, anti-microbic, and immune-boosting abilities.

Ozonized Oils

Ozonized oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil are filled with ozone gas. It is found in sunflowers and again, has a number of properties that help to minimize and reduce infection.


There is no scientific evidence that vinegar helps but it is completely safe to try. The same goes for iodine.

Be careful with iodine, though because it colors the nails and leaves stains on the skin. Not the best sight for rocking those summer days and nights with sandals!


Listerine contains methol, tymol, and eucalyptus. All have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Soak the affected nails for 30 minutes daily.


Place chopped and crushed garlic cloves on the nails every day for 30 minutes.

Consider Your Diet

The health of your nails largely depends on your diet. Give your body all healthy nutrients by eating probiotic-rich yogurt, proteins for nail growth and enough vitamins and minerals such as magnesium to prevent brittleness.

Eating sufficient fish, meat, fruit and vegetables will go a long way to ensuring your nails have what they need to grow and remain strong.

Preventing Nail Fungus

Prevention is always better than cure, so it is best to be knowledge on a few strategies to ensure you are not putting yourself at risk of infection:

  • Get manicures and pedicures from trusted salons
  • Avoid constant usage of nail polish and artificial enhancements
  • Avoid damp and popular communal areas, where infections can build,
  • Always dry your nails with clean towels, especially after being in the shower or a communal pool.

What Happens If Nail Fungus Is Left Untreated?

If left untreated, nail fungus can lead to complications. It can become painful and cause permanent damage to your nail. Also, the nails can become thick, rough and unpleasant to look at, or brittle and weak where they crumble and stop growing.

If you have a suppressed immune system or diabetes it can lead to other complications in your body.

In extreme cases, a bacterial skin infection called Cellulitis can also develop.

In Short

To conclude, nail salons will do your nails, even if you have nail fungus infections.

The technicians are usually very experienced and have seen all kinds of problems and are generally happy to work on them.

However, they are not going to treat the problem, neither have they the training nor the equipment.

At some salons, they ever tell you if they are even able to help treat fungal conditions or not.

The only manicure that is not recommended is acrylic nails. They are even considered as one of the potential causes of the infection, especially if left for three months or longer.

Too much moisture gathers because of the glue, which causes a favorable environment for bacteria to grow and develop.

It is best to see a medical professional if you notice signs of infection. Avoid buying over-the-counter remedies as their effectiveness is questionable.

Instead, try some of the natural remedies including natural oils and plant extracts.

These have a lot of anti-fungal properties as well as medical and anecdotal evidence of being successful.

Do not leave fungus untreated for too long. Once the first symptoms appear, start searching for treatment.

If left for too long, the stubborn infection can lead to permanent damage to your nails and eventual disintegration of the nail place.

Arm yourself with patience. The infection can take several months to get rid of.

Prevent yourself from contracting fungus in the first place. Always be mindful of communal areas and places.