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legal advice if injured at a beauty salon

Negligent Beauty Salons
Nicola Perry has been a solicitor for 13 years. She has a great deal of experience in beauty treatment injuries. Nicola recently had an article on hairdressing injuries published in the specialist personal injury law journal 'PIBU'.

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Claim For Cuticle Infection From Manicure Or Pedicure

Cuticle Infection Compensation

Cuticles on either the fingernails or toenails may be trimmed as part of a manicure or pedicure procedure at a beauty salon and nail bar. Problems can arise when the cuticle (the skin at the base of the nail) is cut back too far, meaning that bacteria can enter the unprotected nail bed and cause an infection in the surrounding skin tissues. This may also be the result of instruments not having been properly sterilised prior to a nail treatment. An infection of the skin around the nails is known as paronychia, and is diagnosed as either acute or chronic.


Apart from bacteria, fungus and a certain type of yeast may also cause paronychia. Salons are responsible for ensuring that all equipment used during treatments is properly sterilised, as well as for the behaviour of the manicurists they employ, who must take sufficient professional care not to damage cuticles, leaving them open to the risk of infection.

Cuticle Infections Caused By Poor Hygiene Standards

Manicures and pedicures are popular treatments at nail salons, beauty salons, hairdressers, health spas, and on cruise ships, and unsanitary conditions at any of these locations will increase the chance of infections being transmitted. Nail technicians and nail bar businesses need to maintain strict hygiene standards to minimise the risk of clients contracting infections. This particularly applies to manicure and pedicure treatments carried out at spas and health clubs, where germs are more easily transmitted due to the hot and steamy conditions.

Lack of regulation of the nail bar industry in the UK and workforce composition characteristics also pose problems in terms of effective infection control. Nail technicians do not need any qualifications to offer their services to the public, while figures from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 38% of nail technicians are employed part-time, while 20% are self-employed. When opting for a manicure or pedicure therefore, it is essential to make a careful choice of where and with whom you have the treatment done.

Importance Of Manicurist's Technique

Trimming the cuticle skin on nails is a delicate and precise procedure for a manicurist to perform. If they cut the cuticle back too far, or penetrate the skin, bacteria and viruses will be able to enter the body through even the most tiny of cuts around the nail. Proper training and experience is therefore required to carry out the treatment in a safe manner. An overly aggressive technique is likely to cause skin damage and increase the risk of a nail bed infection. Working practices at salons should focus on maintaining a high level of hygiene in all areas of the premises, making sure that instruments, such as scissors and metal nail files are sterilised, and disposing of items like emery boards after treatments to ensure they are not reused on different customers.

Symptoms & Treatment Of Cuticle Infections

Acute and chronic infections of the nail bed will require specialist medical treatment to resolve. With both types of paronychia, areas of skin around the nail will appear red and slightly swollen. Pus may accumulate under the skin and / or nail. The nail itself may appear discoloured, or ridged, where the shape of the nail has become distorted. These changes in the shape of the nail may eventually become permanent. With acute paronychia, symptoms will be more noticeable. There is also the possibility of a person suffering swelling in the glands, or lymph nodes in the elbow and under the arm. In the vast majority of cases, paronychia can be treated with antibiotic ointments or oral antibiotics. Both bacterial and fungal infections may be persistent however, and in serious cases may spread to infect multiple fingernails or toenails.

Claiming Compensation For Cuticle Infections & Paronychia

It is often possible to claim compensation from a beauty salon or nail bar if a manicure treatments has damaged your cuticles, and caused an infection to develop. Manicurists are expected under UK law to carry out the procedures they offer using reasonably care and skill. Where this is not the case is will be possible to sue them for the negligent provision of services and the resulting personal injury or illness. As commercial establishments, beauty salons and nail bars are obliged to hold public liability insurance, and damages on the conclusion of a successful personal injury compensation claim will be paid out under terms of this policy.

We have recently dealt with cases in which manicures have gone disastrously wrong for clients, leading to distressing and disfiguring nail bed infections. In the resulting compensation claims we have recovered damages for pain and suffering, as well as medical and travel expenses and loss of earnings for time off work. Contact us today for free confidential legal advice from a specialist female solicitor.

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Beauty Injury Video

Nicola Perry, and our team of lawyers expert in beauty treatments, can help if you have contracted a cuticle infection following a trip to a beauty salon or nail bar. Nicola introduces our no win no fee service in this video. Contact her today on 0800 988 3642 for free confidential legal advice. She will be happy to answer common questions such as; can I claim compensation if I caught a cuticle infection from a manicure? How much compensation is awarded for cuticle and nail bed infections?

Because we specialise in these types of claims you are guaranteed to get the maximum amount of compensation with the minimum of fuss.