I advise my patients who are carriers of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to keep their fingernails trimmed. Long nails make the subungual spaces good havens for bacteria. S aureus, including MRSA, has been isolated from the subungual spaces of the hands of many at-risk patients who are MRSA carriers.1 In addition, long nails can break both the skin and the nasal mucosa, facilitating the transmission of MRSA between the nares and the skin; this can result in prolongation of the nasal carrier state and possibly in skin infections.
— Fadi Jabr, MD
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1. Rupp ME, Fitzgerald T, Puumala S, et al. Prospective, controlled cross-over
trial of alcohol-based hand gel in critical care units. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol.