Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What causes in grown nails?"
I am a 33 year old mother of three, I keep my nails pretty neat and manicured but lately I have been very bad hang nails and then in grown nails that get infected. Should I stop getting manicures.
Manicures are a major cause of hang nails and infections around the nail bed, called paronychia. This is because manicures involve repeated small trauma to the cuticle and nail folds, as well as the application of various chemicals. Altogether, this can lead to drying out of the nail folds (hang nails occur basically just because of excessive dryness of this skin).
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Additionally, if small cuts in the nail folds become infected, this leads to redness and inflammation (called paronychia). Furthermore, excessive trimming and manipulation of the nails is a major factor in the development of in grown nails. Therefore, it is quite likely that if you stop getting manicures (or at least reduce their frequency) these symptoms will improve a lot. You should also avoid picking at or cutting your cuticles or surrounding skin, as this just raises the risk for getting an infected area. Instead, you can treat hang nails by regularly applying a cuticle moisturizer. If you do develop any areas of particular redness, pain, and swelling, you may need to see your primary care doctor. Sometimes these infections can become quite severe and can need medical attention, including the prescription of antibiotic medicines, in order to clear up.
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