Funky Nail Problems Solved
You can beat out ridges, fungus, white spots and other skin problems with these tools
Symptom: Fungal/bacterial infection
Cause: A fungal infection, which almost always occurs on the feet, can make nails become rough, crumbly, thickened and yellow or cloudy in appearance. A bacterial infection can appear between the nail and the nail bed or between a natural nail and an artificial nail -- it will also discolor the nail. Both infections should be treated immediately.
Fix: Your doctor or derm can prescribe medicine to treat nail fungus. Schoon warns against at-home remedies, explaining that professional help is the only way to take care of the situation. He says that frequenting sanitary salons and keeping your home tools hygienic is the most efficient prevention. Wear flip-flops at the gym and pool to prevent picking up an infection, wash and dry feet thoroughly after exercise to stave off fungus (which thrives in dampness) and avoid wearing the same shoes day after day. Surprisingly, it's bacteria, not fungus, that almost always causes nail infections on the hands, especially underneath acrylic nails. Improper cleaning before applying them is the culprit, so be vigilant; ask your doc if they need to be taken off. "After having them removed, gently buff off the infected areas, then start treatment," says Los Angeles-based celebrity manicure pro Carla Kay. "For the following two months, apply Duri Rejuvacote, $12, and Duri Miracote, $7, which strengthen nails to bring them back to health."
Photo: "Nail Structure & Product Chemistry", Second Edition Doug Schoon M.S., Thomson/Delmar Learning
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