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Can You Get an Infection from Dip Nails?

How to Avoid Dip Powder Infections - Antifungal Powders

Our fingernails are our canvas to express ourselves with an empowering shade — bold, edgy, or passionate. However, with every beauty trend, comes precaution: unknowingly double-dipping your fingers into a dish of bacteria could require medical attention later on.

Could you get a blood pathogen from dip powder manicures?

If you’re a victim, let us show you helpful remedies including antifungal powders and essential oils along with steps to avoid infections and products you can use.

What is a dipped powder manicure?

The dipped powder manicure sounds exactly like its meaning; dipping your finger into pigmented powder. The procedure is UV and LED-light-safe. It is also referred to as the Signature Nail System (SNS) or dip mani.

Benefits of dip powder manicure

  • Last up to 4 weeks
  • No acrylic liquid to smell up the room
  • Dip powder is thinner than acrylic
  • Use of resin

How can you get an infection from dip powder nails?

Warts and nail fungus are the most common infection from nail salons (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, 2022) [1].  So how exactly do you get one from simply dipping your fingers repetitively, applying a top coat, bonder, etc?

Here are some ways you can infect your toenails and fingernails:

  • Nail abrasion
  • Percutaneous exposure to blood
  • Unsanitary equipment/tools
  • Walking around barefoot in wet areas ( gyms, swimming pools, jacuzzis, etc.)


Nail abrasions such as an open wound from filing, sandpapering, or clipping pose a concern to your health; double dipping increases the risk of transmitting hepatitis C (HBC), herpes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and more.

Blood on the fingers dipped into the pigmented powder and reused for another client threatens their health.

In extreme cases, bloodborne pathogens can cause the toe to be amputated! As a safe practice, it is recommended that nail technicians Immediately dispose of used dip powder.

Can I get Herpetic Whitlow (Herpes)?

An interview from Dr. Strasswimmer from Florida Atlantic University with CBS12 (2020) states that a simple scratch on your mouth can lead to the transmission of a virus. If you have herpes sore on your mouth, and you scratch, then dip your fingers into the powder, the next person who has a wound could get infected. It’s a rare case, but you never know! [2]

Pseudomonas: Is this a bacterial or fungal infection?

There is a misconception that Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pseudomonas or P. aeruginosa ) is fungi. Pseudomonas is a bacterial infection and can cause Chloronychia (Chiriac, A., Brzezinski, P., Foia, L., & Marincu, 2015).[3]  You can indeed get both a fungal and bacterial infection from a dip manicure.

What is Pseudomonas?

An infection of the nail plate. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria found in soil and water. In this case, it can be found at your nail salon, or inside the dipped powder!

What is chloronychia a.k.a greenies?

Green eggs and ham? Chloronychia is an infection of the nails caused by P. aeruginosa. If you notice discolored toenails ranging from green to yellow to brown this may be a sign of greenies. Click here for more information and proper treatment of green nail syndrome. [4]

What different kinds of fungal infections could you potentially get?

There’s a chance you can leave your hair salon with more than just your hair and a pedicure done. Fungi thrive in moist and slightly acidic environments. [5] So your nail salon is a hotspot for them.



Dermatophyte ( most common)

Symptoms & Signs

Bacterial (Health Link BC, 2022). [6]

  • Swollen & red streaks
  • Thicker, harder
  • Discoloration: green
  • Oozing puss
  • Feeling of heat

Fungal infection (Health Link BC, 2022)  [6]:

  • White spots
  • Foul smell
  • Fragile, brittle
  • Nail changes shape (i.e. curl)
  • Discoloration: yellow or brown
  • Painless unless severe

How to prevent an infection from a dip powder manicure?

It’s unsanitary for multiple clients to be dipping their fingers into the same powder because you can’t see microorganisms under the naked eye. Hygienic practices by a nail tech and those at home are critical to maintaining healthy nails if you’d like to try dip powder nails.

Tips to maintain healthy nails

  • Sanitize instruments with alcohol
  • Use rubber cuticle pushers
  • Buff and shine your nails with replaceable buffing pads
  • Use a tray system if you do use dip powder
  • Ensure your nail technician uses new dip powder and the powder is disposed of right away

Anti-fungal remedy

Essential oils are a great solution to help with fungi. They have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. Tea tree, Lemongrass, Thyme, and Peppermint are great essential oils to help fight fungal infections as they can reduce the itching and the growth of fungi. Additionally, antifungal powders will reduce symptoms, read more below. [7]

Top 6 Products to prevent dip-powder infections

We include products that we believe will be beneficial to our readers. If you make a purchase using the links on this page, we may receive a commission.

*Pricing Guide

  • $ = Under $20
  • $$ = Between $20 -$30
  • $$$ = Above $30

Rubber Cuticle Pusher


  • Soft rubber doesn’t damage the nail bed (which contains vessels, melanocytes, & nerves)
  • No pain
  • No sharp edges


  • Not suitable for a dry manicure or a Russian manicure.

Easy to use cuticle pusher with a rubber handle, and soft. Clean and push away overgrown cuticles.

Achieve a salon-style manicure in minutes.

When your hands or toes are damp, and your cuticles are soft, rubber cuticle pushing and cleaning are painless and effortless. Push away nails. Press down your new stickers with a soft smooth surface.

Rubber tips are firm, and comfortable for your skin. This rubber cuticle gently cleanses your nail cuticle’s edges. Keep your nails healthy and away from sharp harmful equipment with the soft dribble rubber.


  • Rubber cuticle
  • 6 colors: light blue, green, blue, red, purple, and pink
  • Non-toxic
  • 30 pieces
  • Length: 9.5cm/pieces
  • Weight: 2g/pc
  • Easy to use

Price: $

This might be a good choice for those who want no harm to your clients. It’s painless and toxic-free. Prevent cuts, fungus, and infections by using clean rubber. No blades or sharp edges

Lint Free Nail Wipes


  • Removes residual glue
  • Cleans nail gel
  • Remove the nail top coat
  • Lint-free


  • Removes nail polish from about 1-2 nails each

Absorbent lint-free nail wipes help your nails shine. No more battling old nail polish. Remove excess dirt now!
Easily soaks liquid. Non-woven fabric is soft on the nails and skin and has strong moisture and decontamination capabilities.

Additionally aids in sipping eyelash extension glue bottles, and cleaning manicures and pedicures. Great for beauty salons, eyelash clean-up, manicures, and home use.

Take the wipes, wet the nail wipes, wipe excess dirt and finish the job!


  • Durable, powerful cleaning
  • Lint-free nail wipes
  • 540 pieces
  • Strong & absorbent

Price: $

Versatile uses, you might want to try this product for removing nail art, and cleaning excess gel, while not worrying about lint.

Nail Buffer Block With Replaceable Buffing Pads


  • Easy to replace pads
  • Sustainable, reusable buffer
  • Promotes nail growth
  • Post acrylic recovery


  • Not for those who have fine motor impairments, trouble peeling, and sticking

Why settle for 2 sides when you can have a 3-way buffer? Tired of re-purchasing a new buffer? Onsen’s replaceable buffer pads smooth, buff, and shine nails to perfection.

Use for up to 10 days then peel off!
Enhanced with minerals from Japanese hot springs to enhance and activate nail healing.

Grow, and strengthen your nails to a glass finish. Great for professionals, and is economically friendly. Adds brilliant shine.

Wash your hands, and dry them. Hold the buffer block by its ends between your thumb and finger. Try not to touch the white pads. Then use pressure to slide the surface of the pad up and down your nail. Slide with slight pressure for 5-10 seconds. Repeat for each nail or until satisfied.


  • Triple-sided, file, smooth, and polish
  • 3-Way Buffing Smooth Shine
  • Natural Nail Polisher
  • 3 Sides Coarse Soft Silky

Price: $$

Antifungal Powder


  • Cure jock itch, ringworm & athlete’s foot
  • Keeps feet dry
  • Safe for kids over 2
  • Relief of itching and scaling


  • May cause flaking in treated areas

A dry environment is key!

Keep the fungi out of the moist, warm home of your toes. Dry out the moisture with Lotrimin’s antifungal powder clinically proven to control athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) and more!

Moist, itchy, cracking feet are uncomfortable. Lotrimin’s antifungal powder relieves jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot. Fungi thrive in moist environments such as sweat from your feet. The formula is gentle and safe enough for kids over 2, and strong enough to cure an athlete’s foot.

Shake the powder onto hard-to-reach places, and stop highly contagious fungi from growing. Lotrimin’s antifungal powder contains miconazole which reduces burning and itching. Gain dry, healthy, hygienic, feet again.


  • Miconazole nitrate
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Powder
  • Treatment is 4 weeks

Price: $$

French Tip Dip Nail Powder Tray System with Dust Cleaning Brush


Great For:

  • French manicure
  • Gradient glitter
  • Dip powder
  • Home use


  • Small form factor

Why dip your fingers in unhygienic-filled powder, when you can get a tray to minimize waste and prevent infections?

The French tip nail powder tray system offers a mini tray for dip powder, french manicures, gradient glitter, and more!

It’s a practical tool for nail art. Sprinkle your dipped powder now!

Convenient to use, dip your nails into the tray and brush off with a soft cleaning brush. Perfect for doing it yourself. Help your friend or purchase a gift for your daughter or wife!


  • Two-finger groove design
  • Nail powder tray
  • Arc shaped design
  • Dust cleaning brush
  • 3.9 inches in length, 1.5 inches in width, and 0.78 inches in height

Price: $

Young Nails Protein Bond


  • Fast drying
  • Prepares nails for treatment
  • Bonds to the natural nail
  • Provides anchors for acrylic gel, and more!
  • Creates a sticky surface on the nail


  • Use before nail varnish, not for those looking to use it after

Bring the salon home, and enhance your nail care game with stronger, shinier nails.

Young Nails protein bond extends the life of your manicure by providing additional keratin. It contains a corrosive-free primer with proprietary polymer.

Bonders are a solvent to help you remove excess oil. Additionally, it raises the pH of your nail and allows nail enhancements to stick easier.

Use the protein bonder before dip powder, or UV/LED gels.

How to use: Prep natural nails: file + cleanse. For acrylic: apply two coats. For gel: apply small amounts to tips.


  • Non-acid adhesion
  • Corrosion free-nail primer
  • Bonds to keratin structure
  • 0.25 Fluid Ounces

Price: $$

Great for those who want an effective non-acid primer


Beautiful manicures are shameless until you get a nail infection. Always ensure to call the nail technician’s store first. If you experience cuts at an appointment, skip any further processes.

Refuse dipping your hands into any non-original container. This can save you from the greenies! If your technician uses the same dip powder and doesn’t sterilize your instrument after a wound, these are signs that your beauty salon might be unhygienic.

Remember, seek medication attention from your doctor first if you suspect an infection or notice anything off about your nails, nail folds, or cuticles. Because, if these infections are not treated promptly and properly they can get worse and spread.


  1. “Preventing Infections When Visiting the Nail Salon or Tattoo Parlor – APIC.” APIC, apic.org/monthly_alerts/preventing-infections-when-visiting-the-nail-salon-or-tattoo-parlor. Accessed 14 Sept. 2022.
  2. Nahl, Lexi. “Dip Powder Manicures Could Cause Dangerous Bacterial Infections, Experts Say.” WPEC, cbs12.com/news/local/dip-powder-manicures-could-cause-dangerous-bacterial-infections-experts-say. Accessed 14 Sept. 2022.
  3. Chiriac, Anca, et al. “Chloronychia: Green Nail Syndrome Caused by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa in Elderly Persons – PMC.” PubMed Central (PMC), 14 Jan. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4298286.
  4. “Green Nail Syndrome.” Green Nail Syndrome, www.aocd.org/page/GreenNailSyndrome#:~:text=Green%20nail%20syndrome%20(GNS)%20is,disappear%20with%20washing%20or%20scrubbing. Accessed 14 Sept. 2022.
  5. Vylkova, Slavena. “Environmental pH Modulation by Pathogenic Fungi as a Strategy to Conquer the Host – PMC.” PubMed Central (PMC), 23 Feb. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5322887.
  6. “Fungal Nail Infections | HealthLink BC.” Fungal Nail Infections | HealthLink BC, 3 Mar. 2021, www.healthlinkbc.ca/illnesses-conditions/infectious-diseases/fungal-nail-infections.
  7. Nazzaro, Filomena, et al. “Essential Oils and Antifungal Activity – PMC.” PubMed Central (PMC), 2 Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748643.