Q&A

What might be causing a client's throbbing nails?

Q.

What might be causing a client's throbbing nails?

A.

I have a client whose nails throb during a manicure, even when she gives herself one at home. She says the throbbing doesn’t stop until after polish is applied to her nails, and that this happens every time. Her nails appear healthy. What could be causing this?

The only explanation I can think of is if there was over-vigorous manipulation in the cuticle/proximal nail fold area, resulting in injury to the nearby nail matrix. Also, over-vigorous cleaning using nail implements underneath the nail plate and injuring the nail bed can cause the nails to throb. I do not understand why it would stop when nail polish is applied because polish does not have any particular effect on throbbing of the nails. Another possibility may be a circulation problem. Certainly if the condition continues, your client should see a dermatologist. Nails may also throb if there is an infection, but the description of your client’s nails as appearing healthy would make this a rather unlikely explanation.

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