An expert has warned against the dangers that long nails, varnish and extensions carry amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Dr Elisabeth Dancey, a British Beauty and aesthetics expert at Bijoux Medispa in Belgravia, told FEMAIL that fungi and bacteria are easily harboured under nails, and transferred when touching your face, mouth, other people and objects.
She said: 'Long nails, nail varnish and nail extensions have always been a no-no for anybody who needs spotlessly clean hands; nurses, doctors, therapists, cooks, mothers and carers.
'Germs' such as bacteria, fungi and viruses (including the Coronavirus) can harbour underneath the nail space and easily be transmitted to whatever you touch. Put simply, you cannot see the dirt that lies beneath.
'Doctors know this and rigourously scrub under their nails before donning gloves and performing surgery; with a sterile nail brush and sanitising solution. We should now follow their example'.
Meanwhile GP and former orthopaedic surgeon Dr Chike Emeagi, Medical Director of Hampstead Aesthetics Clinic and Dr Chike Clinics, told FEMAIL the ideal length was just above the nail tissue, adding: 'It is advisable to cut your nails as short as possible as they harbour infection'.
The warning came after a nurse went viral after revealing that long nails are one of the fastest spreaders of the coronavirus - and showed the simple way to tell if yours are short enough.
An expert has warned against the dangers that long nails, varnish and extensions carry amid the coronavirus epidemic after a nurse went viral warning why keeping your nails long during the coronavirus pandemic is one of the fastest ways to spread the virus (pictured)
Posting on Facebook, a woman said she was told by an Australian nurse that while many people have been prioritising washing their hands well, not once have people focused enough on the importance of having short nails.
'Among all the hand-washing instructions and the fun 20-second song suggestions, I haven't seen anyone note that it is impossible to wash your hands properly if your fingernails are long,' the woman wrote.
She revealed that it's easy for bacteria, viruses, dirt, debris and even the virus to live in your fingernails, meaning if you bite them then that is then transferred into your mouth.
'If you can't put your fingernails straight down against your other palm without your nails adding too much distance to do it, you cannot wash under your fingernails properly unless you use a nail brush every time,' she said.
She recommends trying this test at home to see whether your nails are too long and need to be cut.
She revealed it's easy for bacteria, viruses, dirt, debris and possibly the virus to live in your fingernails, meaning if you bite them then that is transferred into your mouth (stock image)
While many have been using hand sanitiser at regular intervals during the virus spread, the woman said for those who have long nails 'hand sanitiser won't do the trick'.
Dr Chike told FEMAIL: 'As an ex orthopaedic surgeon and GP we are always told to cut our nails short.
'In this present environment it would be advisable to cut your nails as they harbour infection.
'The ideal length would be to cut your nails as short as possible, just above the edge of the tissue.'
'If you can't rub the very ends of your fingers against the other palm, then your hands aren't truly clean after you wash them, no matter how long you soap up,' she wrote.
She concluded: 'Please, during this global emergency, keep your nails short.'
Many commented on the post and said they hadn't heard about how important it was to keep your nails short before.
Others added that germs can live in your nail polish too, meaning it's a good idea to keep your nails both short and clean.
'Nurses can't have painted or fake nails as they harbour an incredible amount of bacteria. This is true even when not in a pandemic,' one woman wrote.
'The same is true of engagement rings and wedding bands.'
British registered nurse Abigail Morinkyo, told FEMAIL this was just one of the ways bacteria could be transferred.
She said: 'Coronavirus can be passed on through contact, or droplets in the air when people cough or sneeze.
'Long or false nails are defintely not the biggest carriers, or else they would not have countries in lockdown.
'The disease can be passed on through false nails, in a similar way to touch, but that is one of the ways that it can be passed on.'
Furthermore, Dr. Niket Sonpal, New York based internist and gastroenterologist and adjunct professor at Touro College commented to InStyle US: 'Long nails are not entirely ideal during an outbreak simply for the reason that they take longer to clean.
'People are not mindful that they have to allocate more time than usual to