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How To Treat Green Nail Syndrome

Need Advice On How To Talk To Your Clients About Other Issues That Often Come Up For Nail Techs

Green Nails [ Epi #529]

If a green spot appears on the nail, techs cant treat the infection. Green spots are considered to be a medical disorder, says Doug Schoon, and not something nail technicians are allowed to treat. Refer the client to a doctor. Techs may want to remove the product from the nail, but if the nail has an infection, techs are legally bound to avoid any form of treatment. If you nick the skin while removing the nail, you could worsen the infection. If any of your implements came into contact with the infected nail, immediately clean and disinfect it, wash your hands, your clients hands, and the surface of your work area.

The natural nail underneath the enhancement will likely be stained, with colors ranging from a dull green to an unsightly black, and it could be soft from being moist; do not apply polish or product over the nail to hide the color until the client has seen a doctor and the infection is completely clear. Once treated by a doctor, the stained nail will eventually grow out, and a soft nail will harden back up as its exposed to air.

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Nail Salon Faqs What You Need To Know

From current consumer habits, one might surmise that the main function ofnails is to look good. But nails serve several physiological purposes: Theyenhance fine touch and fine motor skills and protect the fingers and toes.Doctors also may examine them for indications of serious underlying diseases;for example, clubbed nails is a classic sign of chronic lung and heart disorders.For those reasons, it’s important to keep nails healthy.

Healthy Nail Tips

Listed are tips to keep your nails healthy if you have artificial nails:

How common are nail infections?More common nail problems, dermatologists report, are infections frombacteria, such as Staphylococcus; fungi, such as Candida ;and skin viruses, such as warts.

Bacterial and fungal infectionsfrequently result from artificialnails, whether applied at home or in a salon. A bump or knock to a longartificial nail may cause it to lift from the natural nail at the base, leavingan opening for dirt to get in. If the nail is reglued without proper cleaning, bacteria or fungi may grow between thenails and spread into the natural nail. Also, as the natural nail grows, anopening develops between the natural nail and artificial nail. If this space isnot filled in regularly, it can increase the chances for infection.

A fungal infection can take hold when an acrylic nail is left in place toolong–such as three months or more–and moisture accumulates under the nail.

Symptoms of an infection include:

Difference Between Toenail Fungus And Green Nail Syndrome

To clear up dark green toenails and fingernails, you need to start by diagnosing the reason for the nail condition. Toenail fungus and green nail syndrome are often confused, and its easy to understand why, but you can quickly learn how to tell them apart easily.

Do I have dark green toenail fungus or green nail syndrome? Green nail syndrome is a bacterial, not a fungal, infection. Toenail fungus causes yellow or brown, crumbly nails while green nail syndrome turns nails green. Fungal infection results in a cheese-like smell, while green nail syndrome smells sweet and fruity.

Well look more closely at the differences between dark green toenail fungus and green nail syndrome. Well also provide information about the treatment of bacterial and fungal nail infections.

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    Is Green Nail Syndrome Contagious

    No.;Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative, aerobic, coccobacillus belonging to the Pseudomonadaceae family. These pathogens are widespread in nature, inhabiting soil, water, plants, and animals .

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen that can produce pulmonary, kidney, and urinary tract infections and even systemic infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be also involved in soft tissue infections, skin and nail infections in immunocompetent subjects and patients with immune deficiency syndrome. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is not part of normal skin flora, so Pseudomonas infections of the intact nail are rare. When infection occurs, Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonizes moist regions of the skin, axillae, anogenital regions, and retroauricular areas.

    The pathogenesis of nail infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is not fully understood. Predisposing factors must be taken into consideration: onycholysis, onychotillomania, microtrauma to the nail-fold, chronic paronychia, chronic exposure to water, soaps, or detergents, and associated nail disorders, such as psoriasis 7).

    Green Nail Fungus: Symptoms Causes And Treatment

    Pin on Toe Nail Fungus Treatment

    A green nail is commonly referred to as a fungus infection, but its not. A pseudomonal nail infection is sometimes called the greenies and is caused by common household bacteria known as pseudomonas.

    Youll know youre infected with pseudomonas when you see a strange green or grey stain on or under your nails. Left untreated, the infection will progress and stain will spread and become a darker shade of green or black this is due to iron deposits under the nail. Your nails might also become soft, moist and lift off the nail bed.

    Similar to fungus nail infections, a pseudomonas infection poses no real danger to your health, but many people treat it because its unsightly.

    Its important to distinguish this type of infection from a mold or fungus infection because treatment is quite different.

    Since pseudomonas nail infections are caused by bacteria, they are more common than nail fungus infections. The good news is that it is also much easier to treat.

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    Doctor Prescribed Ways To Treat Nail Fungus

    Fortunately, there several ways to get rid of nail fungus. Most treatments aim to eradicate the causative organism and restore the normal appearance of healthy nails. Treatment options range from self-care remedies, to medications recommended by a general practitioner, to ointments bought over-the-counter without a prescription.

    Its important to note that repeat infections are common even with treatment. Whats more, remedies are not all equally effective with some even causing possible side effects.

    With that in mind, here are some of the top ways to treat and get rid of nail fungus at home.

    How Does Green Nail Syndrome Occur

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa lives in stagnant water and soil. Contact with either of these can cause green nail syndrome. Thats especially the case if you dont wash them off after contact.

    The chances increase if there is damage to your nails. This is similar to how other bacterial infections start. Both chronic and acute nail trauma can precipitate infection.

    Chronic nail trauma can be caused by something as simple as tight-fitting shoes. Acute trauma occurs when you drop something heavy on your nail, or when the nail rips away.

    The typical way that infection occurs is after onycholysis. This is when the nail comes away from the nail matrix. The infection gets underneath the nail, causing a large green spot in the center.

    Infections can be caused by other bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus and any of the Klebsiella subspecies may also infect nails. Infections by other bacteria dont necessarily cause green discoloration.

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    Acrylic Nails And Gns

    There is a close relationship between acrylic nails and green nail syndrome. It is common to find someone who has artificial nails having a green nail infection. This is because of various reasons. One of them is that during the placement of the artificial nails, it is possible that the nail surface is not sanitized well before attaching the nail. Use of buffers and files that are not properly sanitized may also lead to the occurrence of the infection. In these two cases, bacteria may spread to the natural nail. Another way is when the artificial nail may be knocked off, thus leaving an opening through which bacteria may get in. With this in mind, it is crucial for hygiene to be maintained during manicures and when using artificial nails.

    We should also note that if someone has artificial nails may also be affected by fungi, also known as acrylic nail fungus.

    What Is Green Nail Syndrome And Why Isnt A Fungal Infection


    For a long time now, most individuals have regarded green nails as fungal infections. However, this is untrue. Green nail syndrome is a nail infection that is caused by a bacterium known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. On the other hand, fungal infections are caused by fungi. This means that green nails cannot be classified as a fungal infection. Because green nail syndrome is caused by bacteria, it occurs more frequently than a fungal infection and is also easier to treat than the latter.

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    Toenail Fungus Or Green Nail Syndrome Biopsy

    A biopsy is where a doctor takes a small amount of tissue for testing. Doctors perform biopsies to identify precisely whats wrong with your nail. They may take either part of the nail plate, or part of the nail bed.

    They will then take the tissue and put it through a process called PAS staining. Periodic acid-Schiff staining involves placing the tissue in a jar with an acid. The acid then turns purple-magenta if certain things are present, e.g., glycogen. This indicates infection.

    Biopsies are simple, effective, and safe. Theyre also often necessary as some antifungals and antibiotics only work for certain conditions. Biopsies, therefore, allow them to prescribe the best treatment for toenail fungus available.

    Doctors dont always need to perform a biopsy. Theyre often familiar enough with fungal infections to spot one by sight. The same applies to green nail syndrome. Both conditions are recognizable if you spend enough time around them.

    However, according to Podiatry Today, doctors can get it wrong. So, considering how simple the process is, you should ask for one.

    Risk Factors For Green Nail Syndrome

    There are two conditions known to greatly increase the risk of green nails. Onycholysis, or a loose nail that separates from its nail bed, is a major risk factor. As long as the nail is well connected to the skin, this creates a waterproof protection layer. However, if the nail gets detached, the protection is lost and the space under it becomes full of dirt, creating an environment where bacteria can grow and reproduce. Nails often detach due to repeated trauma and people who do repetitive manual labor have a higher risk to experience this problem. Gardeners, janitors or plumbers are particularly exposed.

    Wet environments are also a major risk factor for green nails. Pseudomonas aeruginosa likes damp locations and rarely infects the skin if it remains dry. However, nails that are often wet or immersed provide it with ideal conditions. Because of this factor, people who work as cooks, dishwashers or health care professionals have a higher risk of GNS, as well as housewives. A damp environment for the toenails can also result from exercising in tight shoes or just wearing them for a long time, like in the case of football players and military conscripts. and fungal infestations are other known risk factors.

    Green nails are usually very easy to diagnose due to their trademark color. Dermatologists can also cut a nail sample for culture, if there is any doubt.

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    What Causes Green Nails

    Green nails are caused by a bacterial infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus. The bacteria nestles in the gap between the nail and nail bed where it produces a green pigment. It is more common in women whose hands are often in contact with soapy water or detergents but can also occur in professions such as bakers, beauticians and bartenders. Other causes are a condition called onycholysis, unclean nail care equipment and sharing of the same as well as the use of artificial nails.

    Pseudomonas is a common household bacteria which can be found in plants, pets, soil and water. Normally the nail, or nail plate, and nail bed are not a hospitable place for the bacteria, but if they have become compromised in some way, then the pseudomonas can find a home. It feeds off the dead tissue in the plate of the nail and this is what causes the separation of the nail and nail bed. The green color is caused by the bacteria infecting the bed of the nail. As well as turning green, the nail may thicken and crumble at the edges and the finger may swell and be painful.

    Are You Confident Of The Diagnosis

    How To Treat Green Nails At Home
    What you should be alert for in the history

    Green nail syndrome is caused by infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Patients likely have a history of prolonged exposure to water or detergents , or an ungual trauma.

    Characteristic findings on physical examination

    On physical examination, there is characteristic greenish or greenish-black discoloration of the nailfold with proximal chronic paronychia and distolateral onycholysis . A small portion of the nail may be involved or the entire nail itself. Most patients will only have involvement of one nail. On occasion, the nail adjacent to the primarily infected nail will have some secondary evidence of infection. Green striping of the nail has also been reported.

    Figure 1.

    Coinfection with Trichophytan rubrum and Pseudomonas, a common occurrence.

    Expected results of diagnostic studies

    Diagnostic studies are typically unnecessary. Gram stain and culture of any exudates and/or ungual fragments may confirm the diagnosis; however, culture can be negative, as the green discoloration may be found a distance away from the infected site.

    A pigment solubility test might also be performed, by submerging a sample of the affected nail in 1mL of distilled water. The liquid will turn a bluish-green color within 24 hours if there is a present infection with P. aeruginosa. Woods light examination will occasionally show a yellow-green fluorescence, which is characteristic of Pseudomonas.

    Diagnosis confirmation
    What is the Cause of the Disease?

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    Massaging With Rosemary Oil

    Massaging of the body is always very beneficial for the proper circulation of blood to all the organs of the body. Also, massaging the hands together with rosemary oils is considered very beneficial for the hands specifically and maintains the flow of blood to the ends and prevents the discoloration of nails.

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    Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus

    Although some people may refer to these alternative treatments as quack science, there appears to be a little more to these homemade remedies since many individuals have used them to cure their conditions. However, more research still needs to be conducted on the success rate of home remedies for nail fungus.

    Some common and supposedly effective alternative treatments include:

  • Apple Cidar Vinegar
  • According to Dr. Josh Axe of the Exodus Health Center, apple cidar vinegar not only helps to soothe sunburns, balance pH in the body, manage blood sugar levels, and aid in weight loss, its also an ingredient that contains anti-fungal properties. As such, many sufferers of fungal nail infection have now turned to this healthy food to cure their conditions.

    The acidic properties of apple cidar vinegar prevent nail fungus from spreading. At the same time, apple cidar vinegar helps to get rid of dead skin cells while killing bacteria and fungi.

    Simply mix it with water in equal parts then soak the infected nails for up to 30 minutes in the solution. Repeat this process daily and pat dry the infected nails after soaking.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Another study conducted by Russian researchers showed that a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide had been instrumental in killing off fungus at the radioactive Chernobyl site.

  • Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • Natural Lemon Juice
  • For this remedy, one should simply apply lemon juice on the infected nail for about 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

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    Causes Of Green Nail Syndrome: Its Diagnosis Home Remedies

    Green nail syndrome or GNS is an infection of the nails that leads to a greenish discoloration of nails wherein the underneath skin of the nails discolors which makes the nails appear green. And this green discoloration varies from blue-green to dark green to bluish-grey and the discoloration depends on the extent of infection.Since the discoloration is underneath the nail, it will not disappear with washing or scrubbing the hands. Green nail syndrome is usually confined to one or two nails or it can also involve all the nails and can involve fingernails or toenails.

    Green nail syndrome is generally caused by bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacterium grows and flourishes in wet environments. With the growth of this bacteria, a green pigment is produced which causes the greenish color of nails. These pigments are called pyocyanin and pyoverdin.

    People of any age group can catch this infection but mostly it occurs in moist areas. Sometimes, the infection is very less and can be treated using over the counter medications and other times, it takes more than just over the counter medications and self-care to get rid of the infection. In extreme cases a consultation with your dermatologist becomes essential to get rid of the bacterial infection.

    Green Toenail Fungus Vs Green Nail Syndrome


    There are several species of fungi that cause toenail fungal infections. However, each kind causes similar symptoms. These include:

    • Yellow or brown discoloration
    • The nail crumbling away and becoming misshapen
    • Onycholysis, i.e., where the nail lifts away from the nail bed
    • A fungal smell, similar to cheese

    Green nail syndrome is caused by a bacterial infection, not fungus. Symptoms include:

    • Yellow-green discoloration, ranging to greenish-black if severe
    • Onychodystrophy, i.e., the nail becoming misshapen
    • The nail lifting away from the nail bed
    • A smell similar to sugary fruit, grape juice, or tortillas

    The symptoms for green nail syndrome are quite similar to toenail fungus. Lets take a look at each in depth, to help you figure out which condition you have.

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