Can I Wear Nail Polish During Surgery?

Are you about to have a surgical procedure, and wondering, ”Can I wear nail polish during surgery”? While you might not relish the idea of removing the results of your fabulous manicure, you need the facts. 

So let’s take a look at whether or not you can wear nail polish in the operating theater. And why it’s so important to prep your nails before surgery.

What This Article Covers:

Can I Wear Fingernail Polish During Surgery?

The short answer is no. 

You will not be permitted to undergo surgery with painted nails. It is best to keep your nails bare before having any major surgical procedure. There are very sound reasons for this, and it is in your best interests to meet this requirement. 

Why Can't I Wear Nail Polish During Surgery?

should you wear clear nail polish during surgery

The main reason why you can’t wear nail polish is a medical procedural one. 

Oxygen Probe

An oxygen probe will be placed on your finger during surgery to monitor your oxygen levels. During your surgery, the doctors need to be able to notice any change in color in your nails, should something go wrong.

Another issue is that of hygiene. 

Risk Of Contamination

Even a microscopic particle of dirt or debris could cause problems in what should be a completely sterile environment. Think about it, can nurses wear nail polish? Generally not, and for this reason. 

Long nails could harbor germs underneath them, increasing the risk of infection. Painted nails can increase the risk of contamination, as polish can chip off. 

It’s similar to the reasons surrounding the issue of if waitresses can wear nail polish

What Should I Do To Prep My Nails For My Surgery?

If you are scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure, prep your nails before being checked into the hospital. Here are some of the things you can do to ensure all goes smoothly.

Remove Nail Products

Why do females use nail polish? They love their nails to look groomed, and polish can complement an outfit and highlight personal style. And we certainly don’t want to discourage that.

But if you are having major surgery you want to be completely certain that your hands and nails are not putting you at risk. So preferably remove any artificial nails or extension tips. 

If you do not have such products on your nails, remove the old polish you have on your natural nails. This will lower the risk of contamination and infection in the operating theater.

can you wear clear nail polish during surgery

Prepare Your Hands And Nails

Clean and trim your nails. Be sure that no nail polish or hand and nail treatment product residue remains on your hands and nails. 

Good hand and nail care and hygiene are healthy habits to encourage, even if you are not going in for major surgery.


Clear nail polish that is resistant to chipping can be the solution to the above issues. 

Certain nail polishes are more hardwearing and resistant to flaking and chipping. This long-lasting nail polish is also the ideal nail polish for swimmers, whose nails withstand heavy stresses during their time in the water. 

Alternatively, buff your nails to a high shine and they will be safe and sterile, but still look gorgeous.

why cant i wear nail polish during surgery

In Conclusion

We understand that it can be stressful going into surgery. But if you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll make it so much easier for the doctors to perform your surgery without incident.

And we will take the stress out of your hand and nail care, with our range of vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic products. 

With Orly Beauty, you’ll find the right products for all your nail care needs. No matter the situation.

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