Ladies, since many of us love the new nail trend, dip powder, I figured I’d give you a little Public Service Announcement. Here it goes. Tainted dip powder manicures can spread the Herpes Whitlow virus. Yep, you heard that correctly. Herpes Whitlow is caused by the herpes simplex virus 1. Instead of a cold sore forming on the mouth, it’s manifesting on the fingers. It’s highly contagious and once you have it, it’s for life.

(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Teen Vogue)

What is a dip powder manicure? It’s another option for you at the nail salon because we didn’t have enough options already with acrylic and gel. Let’s talk about the other options first. If you want a shiny manicure that can last about two weeks, then ask for gel. If you’re wanting something that can last you close to a month and you like long length, you’d ask for acrylic. But, the latest and oh so popular “dip powder” is somewhere in the middle of those two. It’s marketed to be a healthier option. You don’t have to cure the nails under a UV lamp, it’s durable, and it looks both perfect and natural at the same time. Plus, it can last about three weeks. Who wouldn’t want that?

Part of the process for dip powder is dipping the finger into a container of acrylic powder, then it’s sealed with a topcoat. Dipping your fingers into the powder container is where the problem comes in. Some salons are reusing those powders on multiple clients who could be infected with bacteria and viruses. If they’re bleeding or they have small cuts and they dip their fingers into the same powder, that’s how it can spread. Some salons won’t say anything even if they notice a cut because they don’t want to turn away business.

Facebook, Pyramid Dipping Powder

Make it a point to check out these things the next time you get your nails done.

  1. First, make sure the nail salon is clean and tidy.
  2. Make sure they are using single-use packages. They should open the package that holds the nail equipment right in front of you.
  3. Make sure pedicure liners are new, not just sanitized.
  4. Make sure they have an autoclave, which is a strong heated sterilizer.
  5. Ask if they sprinkle and brush the powder on, instead of “dipping” your fingers into the container.