Can I paint over green nails? You probably must have noticed on your nail or that of somebody close to you some shades of blue-green pigment? Not a good sight, you may agree with me. This condition is known as chloronychia, fondly called green nails in a simple man’s language. No doubt, it’s not a good thing to see, but it’s certainly not a dangerous condition.
What is a green nail then, one may ask? According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, a Green nail is an infection of the nails that leads to a greenish discoloration of nails, also known as chloronychia. The green discoloration varies from blue-green to dark green to bluish-grey. Since the discoloration is hidden beneath the nail, it will not disappear with washing or scrubbing because in most cases this pigmentation is a secretion from the bacteria causing the condition.
The condition is usually confined to one or two nails and can involve fingernails or toenails. The nail is usually not painful; however, the skin around the nail, including the cuticle, may be swollen, tender, or red. Also, this condition may lead to odor in the affected areas
The bacterium causes Green nail flourishes in wet conditions or environments, such as sinks and bath sponges. The damp environment where this bacterium grows buoyantly is only one of the risk factors responsible for this, another risk factor is when a nail becomes abnormally lifted off the nail bed. This is also known as Onycholysis.
Can I Paint Over Green Nails?
Yes, you can. Green nail syndrome is not a difficult situation to control or worse situations.
Once you have removed the fake nails, mostly providing the condition of a healthy environment to flourish, the probability is high that it might heal on its own. Once the healing process is initiated or before, you can safely paint over the green nail. You can even apply a new acrylic nail if you like. Nonetheless, the best practice is to avoid painting over your nail and let it heal first.
Why Do I Have Green Nails After Using Fake Nails?
Fake nails are fine, they serve many purposes, among which, is that they help you make a fashion statement. However, there may be some problems with their use. The nails themselves aren’t harmful, what may be harmful is putting them on and taking them off which may involve acids and other chemicals that could cause allergic reactions, and also damage to them which can equally cause fungal and bacterial infections like Green Nail Syndrome and others.
These fake nails are in two main kinds: acrylic and gel, each of which may create peculiar problems for you when due care is not taken. Green nail syndrome is, however, fairly common with acrylic nail treatments which create moist environments beneath, the most favorable environment for the bacterium to flourish.
Also, hitting your fake nail against something may lead to dislocation of your real nail from the nail bed, a situation which might allow Germs, bacteria, yeast, or fungus outbreak by getting into the created gap and growing there. Bacterial infection at this point can turn your nails green, while you may have white or yellow spots on your fingernails if a fungus develops.
Another reason why you notice green spots on your fingernail after removing it is as a result of improper sizing and application of the nail that does not completely seal it, allowing dirt and water, along with the bacteria, to get under the false nail after application and accumulating there.
What to do once you notice this? See your doctor as it’s a medical condition; don’t leave it to a nail technician alone.
How to Get Rid of Green Nails
Understanding what green nail is and under which environment it flourishes is the first step in treating this common household bacteria.
The treatment for green nails is to remove the enhancement, that is the environment or condition under which it flourishes, and trim, clean, and disinfect the nail to kill the pseudomonas bacteria which causes it. Some doctors may equally suggest a 1% acetic acid treatment, an antibiotic, or an antifungal cream.
Once you notice this, the first thing first, is to see your doctor and not a nail technician. Green nails are a medical condition and must be attended to by a professional duly trained in that field.
Nonetheless, the best practice is to avoid the condition totally by preventing it. Among others, you can prevent it by always washing your hands with soap and water, using and rubbing alcohol on your nails before applying an acrylic nail, disinfecting any tools you use in and around your nail, ensuring a correct fit over your nail bed, and drying your natural nails before fixing fake nails over them.
Can I Put Acrylic Over Green Nails?
Just as you can paint over green nails, you can equally apply a new acrylic nail over your green nails if you want. However, as already noted before, acrylic treatment may create a moist environment beneath your nails which may allow the existing condition to flourish. So, the best practice remains to allow your green nails to heal up before applying a new acrylic nail.
Over the Counter Treatment For Green Nails
The good thing about this condition is that green nails are not stubborn; they respond well to treatment. In most cases, you may not need to undergo a tight prescription; drugs bought over the counter may just be all you need.
First of all, therapy treatment involves cutting the detached portion of the nail, keeping your nails dry, and trying as much as you can to avoid trauma or physical impact on the area.
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology recommends the following simple, over-the-counter treatment for Green nails syndrome: topical antibiotics, such as bacitracin or polymyxin B, applied two to four times per day will cure most patients if continued for one to four months.
Alternatively, chlorine bleach, diluted 1:4 with water, is effective in suppressing the growth of P.aeruginosa when applied topically to affected nails. Vinegar (acetic acid) has been reported to be useful in this regard as well. Occasionally, the nail may need to be removed. If more conservative treatment fails, at this point, an oral antibiotic, such as ciprofloxacin, is often prescribed.