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How I manage my asthma in the nail space

By Emma Hobday | 18 July 2021 | Feature

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Scratch speaks to Lauren Denford of Glow Beauty by Lauren, a nail technician and beauty therapist who suffers with asthma…

laurenLauren sees up to eight clients in a day, with nails, lashes and brows being amongst her most popular treatments, and her favourite service to perform is gel enhancements. But Lauren, who is based in Dorchester, Dorset, can aggravate her asthma when creating such enhancements. “Nail dust can get into the nose, lungs and eyes and can cause a lot of irritation. For those with asthma this can be very debilitating. I struggle to carry out treatments at work if my asthma is triggered, and I want to be at my best so that I can continue offering my treatments to my clients,” Lauren reveals.

If you don’t smoke and haven’t had breathing issues in the past, but notice you’re suffering with asthma symptoms, extraction specialists Vodex believe it’s likely it was caused by an allergen or irritant you were exposed to in the workplace over a sustained period of time. “Occupational asthma signs include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, itchy red eyes (conjunctivitis) or an inflammation of the inside of the nose (rhinitis),” comments a spokesperson for the company. “The more you are exposed to these irritants, the worse these symptoms will become.”

thumbnail vodex salonairVodex offers a range of extraction systems for beauty salons, including the SalonAIR® 1001 unit. This is an at-source nail dust extraction solution that has a flexible ‘arm’ you can position over the nails as you file them. It ‘sucks’ the dust as it is created.

Another concern for Lauren is to be constantly wearing a mask, so she allows extra time between clients for deep cleaning and to briefly pop outside the salon to have a breather. Luckily, her clients are very understanding of her need to take regular breaks and any adjustments she may need. “The safety of myself and the client is always at the foremost of my mind and I know my clients respect and are grateful for that.”

zephyros asthma articleHer advice to asthmatic nail technicians is to use a mask when carrying out nail filing, especially when using an e-file. Carrie Sleath of OMY Nails comments, “E-filing has been one of the most popular tools in a nail technician’s kit over the last few years, but the downside to e-filing is dust. It’s a by-product that can’t be avoided and ultimately can end up being dangerous for your health. The Zephyros dust collector uses a medical quality six-layer filter to filter dust from the air, and there is also an optional carbon filter which can be contained within your Zephyros to clean air output.”

Lauren adds, “Appropriate PPE is a must, along with a well-ventilated space and an extraction system. You ideally want a machine that has a powerful suction so that it can collect all the dust and nail filings. It also needs to be easy to clean and keep sterilised.”

The best thing for Lauren is the freedom of having her own business. “This industry is ever-growing and being my own boss means I can invest time and effort into new and exciting things, like new products and treatments. I also love the personal relationship I have with each client, and knowing they enjoy coming to see me for a pamper is so rewarding.”

Follow Lauren on Facebook and Instagram.