I’m trying paraffin treatments on an arthritic client, but they don’t seem to help. Is it her arthritis that is causing this?
Q: I have a client with arthritic hands. She doesn’t have much pain, but she has bone spurs on her first knuckles of all but one finger. On that one finger is the only healthy-looking nail. All the other nails appear to have disintegrated. I don’t think they are infected with fungus, and I’ve tried various protein-based nail strengtheners as well as fiberglass wraps to protect her nails. She doesn’t want long nails; she just wants them to look nice. I’m trying paraffin treatments on her, but they don’t seem to help. Is it her arthritis that is causing this?
A: It is unlikely that your client’s disintegrating nails are related to arthritis in the hands or fingers. Arthritis, as a rule, does not have a particular effect on the nails, nor do bone spurs. This client needs to see a dermatologist to determine what is causing her nails to disintegrate. It is not possible to diagnose the presence or absence of fungal infections of the nails just by looking at them. A doctor or medical lab must take a specimen from the nails to diagnose them as infected with fungus. All of your different efforts to help make this client’s nails improve are commendable but not likely to be effective if there is an underlying disease or nail disorder. Before you proceed any further with your services on her, your client’s needs to have her nails evaluated by a dermatologist.