Nail & Skin Disorders

The Nail Doctor


i have a client who I have been doing acrylics on for several months. About three weeks ago she developed bumps and a rash below the cuticles on her fingers. She went to the doctor, who said she has strep from contaminated implements. But I clean my implements after every use. Is it possible that she got strep on her fingers from something other than contaminated implements? None of my other clients have complained of this.


Based upon the history of your client, it seems to me that it would be more likely that the client developed an allergy to the acrylic material rather than a strep infection of the skin due to contaminated implements. It is possible, however, that if a person gets an allergic reaction on the skin and around the nails with a rash, then a secondary strep infection could develop because the skin is now open and not completely normal. However, this would not be due to contaminated implements. If you clean your instruments properly after every use and sterilize them, then it is not very likely that your client developed an infection from your implements in the first place. It should be added that simply cleaning the instruments is not adequate. They must be properly disinfected after each use.


I have a client with an overgrowth of cuticle, and very cracked skin on her sidewalls. And her nails keep splitting. I have been giving her manicures for more than a year, keeping her nails short mostly because they won’t grow. Is there anything that I can do to treat this?


This is a combination of dry skin or mild eczema associated with brittle nails. The skin must be kept well moisturized. It is best to push the cuticle back not with metal or wooden instruments, but with a moist towel or wash cloth, after soaking for about 10 minutes to soften the cuticles. This will cause less damage in patients with very dry skin. Sometimes if the dry skin becomes severe enough, a cortisone cream may be required to heal the cracked skin. An over-the-counter cortisone cream is satisfactory but should only be used intermittently when the cracking is fairly severe. Keeping the nails short is actually a good idea because when they are shorter they are less subject to trauma, which increases the splitting of the nails. It is not true that nails do not grow. They always grow, although in some people they grow more slowly than in others, particularly in older age groups. It may appear that the client’s nails do not grow, but they are just growing at a much slower rate.


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