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All of a sudden I have one client with pseudomonas. What is going on?

January 04, 2010 | Bookmark +

I have never had a problem with my clients getting “greenies” (pseudomonas). However, I do have one new client who has been getting a greenie on a different nail every time I see her. I never re-use a file on any of her other nails after filing off the green, and of course I disinfect my implements after each client. What is going on? She said she has never had this problem before, and I have never experienced this before.


You are doing a great job of maintaining hygiene. You are also correct to presume this is pseudomonas, the most common bacterial cause of green nails. However, in odd and persistent cases like this, one must also consider other bacterial and fungal causes. The client should see a doctor to get cultures of the nail for evaluation. People with constant infections may also have other hidden medical conditions, like diabetes. Finally, many people are also colonized by the culprit causing the infection. Topical medications can bring the infection under control. — Dr. Rashid M. Rashid is a house staff dermatologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and director of the nail, hair, and skin disease division of the Morzak Center.

[Editor’s Note: Dr. Rashid’s comments are for educational purposes only. They are not a medical opinion, nor should they substitute for medical evaluation and treatment.]

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What’s the cause of the pinkish-red oval area on the pad of my client’s toes?

I have a client who has a recurring problem with her fourth toes during the winter months. Both of her “ring finger” toes develop a pinkish-red oval area on the pad. Then a month later, when I see her again, the skin has become dry and hard like a callus, with the layers of skin peeling away to reveal a deeper, dark epicenter.  It’s extremely painful for her and, needless to say, we do not touch it. But it clears up in the summer when she’s wearing open-toed sandals, so I suspect it has to be due to the boots she wears in the winter. Plus she never puts lotion on her feet or uses a foot file in between visits. What do you think causes this?

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What are the big white spots on my natural-nail client’s nails?

I have a client who has been with me for about two years. She used to wear acrylic nails but has been a natural nail client for eight months or so. She has these white spots on her nails — big spots that are dry, but not flaky, right in the middle of the nail. I did try to buff them lightly but they do not come off or grow off. I had a new client come in last week who had the same on her toenails. She said it started after she had a pedicure done at another salon. Can you help?

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