Microbiome Awareness Month! Nails – Bacteria Havens under Your Nails?

Getting your nails done? Read on…

Regardless of how much you might wash your hands, there are always bacteria present on the surface of your palm, which is known as the stratum cornea. Basically this is your good guys fighting off the bad ones.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us, of course, just how important it is to keep hands clean. It says good hygiene can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related illnesses, and around 20% of respiratory infections (colds, for example).

Besides the skin surface of your hands, there are ten other places on your hands in which bacteria can really flourish: under your fingernails. There can be a ton of microbes lurking in the space under your nails.

In 1989 a group at the VA Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota looked into bacteria beneath artificial nails, finding that nurses wearing them had considerably more bacteria beneath them than were found under natural nails.
Their recommendation? Short, clean nails are better, even if the salon industry might disagree.

For more information on microbes and nails, read our classic blog post.

If you are interested in learning more about your health and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.