The Dangers of "BBL Toes" and Nail Product Application Over Fungal Infections

by Elizabeth Morris

Beautifully pedicured toenails can be oh so satisfying, but what happens when nail art masks a serious health concern like fungal infections? This article explores the risks of applying nail products over fungal infections, especially in the context of the emerging trend known as "BBL toes."

What are "BBL Toes"?
"BBL" stands for Brazilian Butt Lift in the plastic surgery world, and this phrase has been coined by certain nail industry techs as a way to explain the extreme toenail makeover they are providing. It refers to a phenomenon where the toes appear discolored and thickened, often due to the presence of a fungal infection. The nails are then debrided (filed down) without treating the fungal infection, and acrylic and sometimes even tip extensions are applied to create a result that looks beautiful, but merely hides the active infection underneath.

The Risks of Applying Nail Products Over Fungal Infections:
1. Masking Symptoms: Nail polish or artificial nails can hide the discoloration caused by fungal infections, delaying diagnosis and treatment.
2. Worsening the Infection: Nail products create a sealed environment that can promote fungal growth and make the infection more severe.
3. Spreading the Infection: Nail tools, dust, and equipment can spread fungal infections to others and different areas of the body. And the lack of PPE and medical-grade equipment means fungus filled dust is often spread throughout the salon and inhaled by the tech and the client during the service.

Proper Prevention and Treatment:
1. Proper Diagnosis: Don't work on infected nails, and instead recommend your client consult a healthcare professional if you notice any changes in their nail color, texture, or thickness. 
2. Good Hygiene Practices: Nails with active fungal infections should be treated with caution. Fungus can spread on nail tools and through direct contact.  Always wear gloves when inspecting or handling infected nails/skin.
3. Medical Intervention: Treat fungal infections promptly with antifungal medications or procedures recommended by a healthcare provider. Prescription medications as well as laser treatments are available through licensed medical professionals, and any debriding should be done with the proper equipment to prevent the spread of the infection.

While "BBL toes" may seem like a harmless cosmetic service, this does not properly address serious fungal infections. It's essential to prioritize nail health and seek medical advice if you suspect an infection. Remember, healthy nails are beautiful nails.

Don’t diminish your skill by focusing only on results. Doing “whatever it takes” to gain clients or a social following is not always the answer. And working over infected nails or skin is always a HARD NO. Do your clients right by helping them heal and directing them to M.D.s when needed. Covering things up and adding to the problem is not helping anyone.

Shortcuts may work for a short moment, but integrity will work for your entire career.


Quality in Nail Care