Cases from the clinic
An interesting case of chalky white nail, came into clinic, they looked like this :
Do you notice the chalky white lines going across the nail and the white grainy, patchy appearance of the nail?
I am seeing this condition more and more, this lady had recently had some nail gels or long lasting polish on the nail for some time. She’d had it removed before she came to see me and the nails were looking somewhat dry and flaky as you can see in the photograph above.
If I showed this picture to my podiatry colleagues, they might look at this and think that it’s actually superficial white fungus which looks very similar (a type of fungal nail infection)
But, the important thing, when I look at something like this is: to take note of the history (in this case the recent long term nail polish use) as well as the physical appearance.
Ok, what is Keratin degranulation in a chalky white nail then?
Your fingernails/toenails and hair for that matter is made up of a specific kind of protein called keratin. It can “dry out” faster if it is exposed to chemicals and solvents. Think of the drying effects of things like hair colour products, perms and nail polish remover and you get the idea. Removing long lasting nail polishes and gels takes a lot of acetone type solvents. These chemicals penetrate the nail, having a dehydrating effect….thus drying them out and causing the nail to look white and crumbly.
Also, ‘peeling’ off nail polish can damage the nail surface and pull off the top layer causing it to thin further. (I know this can be a very tempting habit for some people, I hope its not you!)
Did you say summer?
Yes I know the rain has been belting down all day as I write this in June 2019! But yes, hopefully sandal season will soon be here.
How do I avoid this condition happening to me?
- Leave your nail polish off your toes for a while
- Avoid ‘peeling’ polish off nails
- Give them a 2 week “breather”, literally a break from being ‘under cover’ and enclosed from the fresh air.
- Condition your nails daily with a product like Prende intense nourishing oil (we have this available in clinic)
Then as the weather improves and you approach your holidays you can get your sandals out and have your toenails painted ready to show off to the world.
It’s like me and chocolate….all in moderation. You need to be giving those nails a rest and a pamper in between those pedicures and manicures. Enable them to recover and re-hydrate between having them painted up again. We do have a couple of products in clinic that can help you with this; some great nail nourishing oil and the Drs Remedy nail treatment, is proving very popular with our clients.
Hope you liked this episode of insights through the clinic window, thank you for visiting the blog. bye for now
*Thank You! to my clients for permission to share their toe pics with you.*