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It’s unfortunately not that uncommon for clients to present with a nail fungus condition – here’s what to know and do in that situation

Malikov Aleksandr/

Clients with a fungal infection should be referred to a physician as the condition needs to be treated systemically to allow the medication to travel into the bloodstream.

So says NSI educator, Katia Da Silva. She goes on to explain that fungi is a term that refers to a plant-like parasite. “It is commonly found on toenails more than fingernails because fungi prefer warm, dark and moist environments. The fungal infection lives under the nail plate and eats off the keratin protein in the nail plate. This slowly breaks down the integrity of the nail plate, causing the client’s nails to yellow, detach from the nail plate and often become brittle with a crumbly debris underneath the nail.”

“To slow down the effects of the infection, it’s recommended to remove the fungi’s nurturing environment. Make sure that the nail plate is free from any dark or coloured gel polish or nail polish. Use only extremely light or clear polish. Remove the moisture and keep the area under the nail plate dry. A professional nail dehydrator may be used (e.g. NSI Nail Pure Plus). However, to promote growth, a good cuticle oil on top of the nail plate and on the cuticle area can promote skin cell renewal (e.g. NSI Nurture Oil). Avoid any products with glycerine or Vaseline, as this will trap the moisture and not allow any air flow.”

According to Da Silva, fungal infections are not green in colour and do not turn into bacterial infections – these are both very different types of nail plate conditions.

“TO SLOW DOWN the effects of the INFECTION, it’s recommended to REMOVE THE FUNGI’S nurturing ENVIRONMENT.„

Cautionary note

Onycholysis is when a nail plate detaches from the nail bed due to accidental trauma or extreme pinching when sculpting.

Says Da Silva: “Be careful not to misdiagnose the start of a fungal infection with that of Onycholysis. If the detaching continues and a yellowish colour appears on the nail plate, then refer your client to a physician and take the preventative steps detailed above.”


Several professional nail brands have in-salon treatments and home care products that address nail fungus.

Bio Sculpture

From Bio Sculpture, Hygiene Prep is a multi-cleansing water-based sterilising spray with a refreshing fragrance. This non-greasy product contains a moisturising agent to help prevent skin dryness.

Bio Sculpture also has several recovery products that can be used to help clients regain nail health. One of these is Vitamin Dose, a combination of vitamins that rejuvenate, moisturise and nourish nails. This product is infused with ginseng root extract to sustain the keratin structure and cell metabolism of the nail.

Lavender Base strengthens and enriches weak and damaged nails and promotes natural nail health. Rosemary leaf extract and carefully selected oils soothe, treat and restore damaged nails.

Then there are also the Bio Sculpture cuticle oils, namely Almond Oil, Blackcurrant Cuticle Oil, Rosehip Cuticle Oil, and Jasmine Cuticle Oil

Hermann Moller/


The Orly Fungus MD Maximum Strength Anti-Fungal Serum helps eliminate fungus and improve the appearance of unsightly nails. You can target the source of the problem with Orly’s hygienic dropper application.

Key ingredients are: Tolnaftate (FDA approved topical antifungal ingredient); Aqua/Water/Eau, PEG-8, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Dicetyl Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Octoxynol-9, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea, and Triethanolamine.


Calgel’s Calcure is an effective topical anti-fungal nail treatment that kills fungal spores on contact. This product has been trusted by nail technicians for decades and Calgel believes it should be offered to any customer arriving at the salon with signs of a nail fungal infection forming.

“When a fungal infection is present on the nails, no artificial nail product or nail varnish may be applied,” says the Calgel team. “Ensure all product is removed from the nails until the condition clears. Clean the hands and nails thoroughly with a hygiene hand wash and warm water. Apply Calcure to the nails and underneath the free-edge of the nails at least 3 times a day.Ensure nails are dry and clean at all times, and avoid exposure to moisture and water. The affected area must be aired at all times.”

“Be careful not TO MISDIAGNOSE the start of a FUNGAL INFECTION with that of ONYCHOLYSIS, where a nail PLATE DETACHES from the NAIL BED due to accidental TRAUMA.„


Nurture Oil from NSI is a scientifically enhanced blend of 5 therapeutic emollients (including jojoba oil, soy, safflower, wheat germ, and grape seed oils) and vitamins C & E. It supplies cuticles with nourishment and lasting softness, while aiding in skin cell renewal. As such, it’s the perfect finishing touch for any nail service, to pamper the skin around the nail.

Jojoba oil is extremely moisturizing and closely resembles the oil our bodies produce naturally, so it calms skin with little threat of reactions. Grape seed oil is perfect for damaged or stressed tissues, possessing regenerative and restructuring qualities which allow better control of skin’s moisture retention while aiding in skin cell renewal.


LCN Wilde-Pedique Silver plus is positioned as a totally unique system specifically for toenails, with an anti-fungal agent. It is highly flexible, easy to model, long lasting and available in 4 shades. The active ingredient, micro silver, gives this system an additional anti-mycotic protective quality.

Says the LCN team: “LCN Wilde-Pedique is the world’s only gel product that is flexible with the skin and nails. It is ideal for problematic toenail correction and is designed to offer a cosmetic look for damaged toenails. It verifiably reduces the germ load.”

The brand also offers Mykosept, a preventative anti-fungal and anti-bacterial care product.

This article appears in Professional Beauty October Issue

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