Q&A

What are green nails and how do I treat them?

Q.

What are green nails and how do I treat them?

A.

The most common bacterial infection of the nails is due to pseudomonas, and is sometimes referred to as "green nails" because of the greenish-colored nail plate. Pseudomonas is generally caused from air pockets under the nail plate that allow mositure to get in and the green pigment-producing organism thrives in the moist environment. This is usually accompanied by onycholysis (lifting nail), so a dermatologist should intervene. You can advise the client to soak her nail in vinegar or a 5 percent household bleach solution several times a day for about four days. It will usually take several months for the green stain to grow out.

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