False fingernails may offer an attractive, clean appearance but, according to research in the USA, they can be an important source of infection.
Several types of bacteria and yeasts, which are known to cause a wide variety of infections, were found on the hands of three-quarters of nurses wearing false nails. Similar germs were found on the hands of only one-third of nurses content with their own nails.
To reduce the risk of spreading infection, women who prefer false nails should wear rubber gloves, especially if handling food or coming into contact with other people.
Last Reviewed: 22 May 2002